French site LesEchos (via is reporting that Apple Pay will be launching in France by the end of the year, but with a gradual rollout starting with a handful of major banks. It is expected to take 3-5 months between initial launch and the service being widely available in the country, with a pilot launch possibly in place by September.

Negotiations with banks are said to be proceeding slowly, with Apple’s cut of the transaction fee the main stumbling block. On a typical transaction, the banks would receive only 9 cents, and the standard Apple Pay deal applied in the U.S. would see Apple receiving 5 cents of this.

There is, however, hope that the issue can be resolved …

French banks are pointing to a precedent set in China, where Apple is believed to have agreed to halve its share of the standard 0.15% it charges U.S. banks. Fees were also an issue in negotiations leading up to the UK launch last summer, though terms were not disclosed.

You can follow on Twitter or join our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Apple and the Web.