ANZ customers can now use Apple Pay on iPhones

Angus Kidman 28 April 2016

ANZApplePay

Bank joins American Express in supporting Apple's tap and pay service.

ANZ has become the first Australian bank to offer Apple Pay, Apple's "tap and pay" service which uses the NFC chip in iPhones like the iPhone SE to allow customers to make payments from their credit card. Apple's TouchID fingerprint recognition is used to secure transactions.

Find out more about ANZ Credit Cards

Apple Pay can be used on any register or EFTPOS terminal which already accepts contactless payments. To set it up, ANZ customers need to open the Wallet app on their iPhone, tap the plus sign to add a new card, photograph their card or enter its details, and enter the three-digit card security number. ANZ may send a verification code via SMS before Apple Pay is enabled. The service works on iPhone 6 and later models, and can also be enabled for Apple Watch.

Apple Pay has been available in the US since 2014, but rollout in Australia has been slow. American Express made the service available to its Australian customers in November last year, but only if the card was issued by American Express itself. Bank-issued AmEx cards weren't eligible.

A major sticking point has been the percentage of the "interchange fee" -- the amount charged to merchants for using a given credit card platform -- that Apple wants to keep.

Because interchange fees are generally lower in Australia than the US, the amount Apple initially requested, around 15 cents for every dollar spent, was deemed too high by most banks. Neither Apple or ANZ has disclosed the actual fees that are being collected. (Note that these fees aren't paid by customers, and there's no charge for using Apple Pay.)

The service is likely to be popular, as 60% of credit card transactions in Australia are already made using contactless tap and pay systems, and the iPhone remains Australia's most popular mobile phone. Google is planning to launch its similar Android Pay service in Australia this year.

ANZ's web site boasts that it is currently the only Australian bank offering Apple Pay. However, we'd expect that CommBank, Westpac and NAB will now be renewing their efforts to finalise a deal with Apple.

Picture: Sunflowerey / Shutterstock.com

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