Visa has removed one of the last hurdles for Apple Pay in Europe

Apple Pay APA customer makes a purchase with a MasterCard using Apple Pay on the iPhone 6.

Visa is rolling out a piece of financial technology known as “tokenisation” in Europe, The Next Web reports, paving the way for the introduction of Apple Pay in Europe.

Apple Pay is Apple’s cardless payments system. In participating retailers, users can simply touch their iOS device to the payment terminal to make a purchase. So far, it’s not available outside of the United States, although Apple is planning to expand.

When someone makes a purchase with Apple Pay, they don’t actually share their card details with the retailer. Instead, a “token” which corresponds with their account details is issued to authorise a payment. It helps keep the users bank details more secure. (When someone makes a payment with a contactless card, in contrast, it uses their bank details.)

This “token” technology hasn’t previously been available in Europe, hampering the rollout of Apple Pay. But Visa announced today that it will be launching tokenisation in European markets in mid-April this year.

Bank sources had previously told the Telegraph that Apple Pay is expected to launch in the UK in the “first half of 2015.” Visa’s announcement looks like further confirmation of this.

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