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Apple Pay is expanding, but it still has a long way to go

Apple Pay can be really easy to use — if you can find a retailer that accepts it.

Apple’s service, which allows you to store your credit cards on an iPhone and pay for goods at retailers by just tapping your phones on a payment terminal, is gradually becoming available in more countries, as this chart from Statista shows. But it’s still nowhere to be found in wide swaths of the iPhone-using world. And even in the countries where Apple Pay is available, it’s still a long way from being universally accepted.

The iPhone maker has a fine line to walk with Apple Pay, balancing the interests of merchants, credit card networks, banks (from whom Apple collects a fee), and its customers. It’s likely to take a while longer before retailer support for Apply Pay and mobile payments in general becomes ubiquitous.

In the meantime, Apple is starting to move its payments service beyond in-store transactions. Apple Pay users can already make purchases with it on the web via the company’s Safari browser. Meanwhile, Apple is considering supporting pre-paid debit cards and is working on a service that would compete with Venmo, whose app allows users to share restaurant tabs and send payments to their friends, Recode recently reported.

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