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Apple Pay to Launch in Canada

Apple is reportedly in talks with six major Canadian banks to introduce its Apple Pay mobile payments service later this year.

Vjeran Pavic for Re/code

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook pronounced this as the “year of Apple Pay,” and it’s clear his ambitions for Apple’s mobile payment service extend beyond the U.S.

The company is planning to launch Apple Pay in Canada later this year and is in talks with several major Canadian banks to introduce the payment service on iPhones and the Apple Watch, according to people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the plan.

Apple Pay is off to a fast start in the U.S., with about 750 banks and credit unions signing on since the service launched in October, Cook said during the company’s January earnings call. The service, which allows customers to make purchases by holding their iPhones near a properly equipped retail terminal, accounts for $2 out of every $3 spent on such “contactless” credit and debit card payments in the U.S.

Retailers like Panera Bread say Apple Pay represents nearly 80 percent of their mobile payment transactions.

Apple is reportedly in discussions with six Canadian banks, including the Royal Bank of Canada and National Bank of Canada, which together account for about 90 percent of retail bank accounts. The Cupertino technology giant is looking to capitalize on its one-third share of the smartphone market.

Neither Canadian bank returned calls seeking comment. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment.

Apple is also attempting to bring Apple Pay to China, through a partnership announced last fall with China UnionPay — though the service has not yet been introduced in the market as negotiations drag on.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.