Many banks in Belgium have offered Apple Pay support since late 2018. However, that offering didn’t come to all banks there. Some financial institutions seemed to resist opening their payment networks to the Cupertino-based tech giant. References to upcoming Bancontact support surfaced in mid-April within iOS 15.5 beta code. However, the financial institutions providing the payment network never confirmed the pending change. Recently, Bancontact Payconiq Company reported to editors at Belgian news outlet HLN the network will soon work with Apple Pay.
In most of the world, Apple Pay already functions with the majority of popular credit and debit cards. Customers of Belfius who bank in Belgium, however, have been excluded for a while. Therefore, the digital wallet for the iPhone has not been compatible with the Belgian payment network Bancontact. That will soon change as Apple Pay compatibility for Bancontact has been announced by Belfius. Holders of Bancontact and Belfius credit cards will now be able to use Apple Pay.
No Launch Date Specified, but There’s Another Option
While the banks haven’t said exactly when Bancontact support in Apple Pay will go live, there is another option. Bonsai, an Antwerp and ecological payment app, recently enabled Apple Pay support regardless of which bank customers use.
Right now, Apple Pay in Belgium only works with Maestro, Mastercard and Visa. This means some Belgians cannot use Apple Pay in stores, because of the lack of Bancontact support. When the companies involved flip the right switch, that should change. Belfius customers with Visa and Mastercard credit cards can already use Apple Pay, the bank says. Customers simply need to open the Belfius app on their iPhone and activate Apple Pay from the More tab. Later this year, Bancontact and Maestro debit cards will become available, too.
Bonsai’s claim to fame is that the company behind it plants a tree for every ten payments you make with it. The app began supporting Apple Pay in May 2022 and links to current accounts of almost all Belgian banks. Bonsai has just over 104,000 users and has already planted 151,333 trees.