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APPLE OZ ‘Overjoyed’

Apple Pay: pressure on other Big Four banks to join ANZ

An overjoyed Apple has made a significant breakthrough in its drive to gain acceptance of its Apple Pay contact-free payments system by major Australian banks, with the ANZ coming on board.

The ANZ joins American Express in adopting the Apple Pay system Down Under, increasing the pressure on the other three major banks – Westpac/St George, the Commonwealth  Bank and NAB – to also sign up for the Apple system.

Until now the banks have rejected Apple’s system, as each has its own successful card systems, and sees no need to give a big whack from mobile transactions to Apple.

ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott described Apple Pay’s introduction as “a significant milestone” in ANZ’s strategy of employing digital technology to provide its customers “with a superior experience”. He predicted the launch would be “a watershed moment” in the adoption of mobile payments in Australia.

Apple Pay enables users to pay for goods or services with a recent iPhone or Apple Watch. Both use an NFC chip to securely store encrypted payment details, as well as Apple’s TouchID fingerprint technology and the accompanying Passbook application.

Users simply hold their device near an Eftpos terminal, and the iPhone or Apple Watch screen lights up, displaying available cards. The users then press a finger against the home button to activate TouchID and make the payment.

In the US, Apple chief Tim Cook used this week’s earnings call to talk up the Apple Pay system’s international progress.

Apart from Australia, the system was launched in China in the March quarter and in Singapore last week, he said, adding: “Apple Pay is growing at a tremendous pace, with more than five times the transaction volume of a year-ago, and one million new users per week.”

Google has said its rival Android Pay system will be launched in Australia in the first half of 2016, with Westpac and the ANZ Bank already signed up.

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