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Apple Pay

Apple Pay allows you to make contactless payments using only your iPhone or Apple Watch. Here’s how it works and how you can use it in Australia.

How does Apple Pay work?

For most Australians, contactless payments are nothing new. Most credit cards support tap and go payments, whether it’s using Visa’s underlying payWave infrastructure or Mastercard’s PayPass.

Apple Pay fundamentally works the same way, except instead of digging your credit card out of your wallet and tapping it on the terminal, you tap your iPhone or Apple Watch. Your fingerprint or a secure code is used to verify each purchase made from your chosen bank account or credit card.

The inclusion of NFC (Near Field Communication) chips built into these devices creates a "virtual" card and doesn't distinguish between whether it’s a payWave or PayPass card, or an Apple Pay device. Apple Pay isn’t the only competitor in the smartphone payments space, with Google’s Android Pay and Samsung Pay also set to launch in Australia by the end of 2016.

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Is Apple Pay secure?

Apple Pay is as secure as a standard NFC "tap and go" credit card. It uses the same underlying infrastructure that authorises card payments, but Apple Pay’s usage of fingerprints for biometric authentication gives it an added layer of security. As that fingerprint data is stored securely on the device, it can't be stolen from elsewhere in the network. This feature gives Apple Pay an added layer of security when compared to credit cards.

People won't be able to get your fingerprint data, so they won't be able to make unauthorised transactions even if they steal your phone. A stolen credit card, on the other hand, can be used for small transactions (typically under $100) without additional verification.

It’s worth noting that if you’re using the Apple Watch as your Apple Pay device, a passcode is used instead of TouchID. This feature is slightly less secure, although the fact that no identifying credit card information – your credit card number, expiry date and so on – is stored or visible on an Apple Watch or iPhone during an Apple Pay transaction means it’s more secure. The usual protections that your institution offers against fraud should also apply to any Apple Pay transaction.

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What do I need to use Apple Pay?

To access Apple Pay you need an iOS device with Apple Pay compatibility. On the iPhone side, that’s the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE. If you’ve got an Apple Watch, you can use it with any of those devices, as well as the iPhone 5, 5c and 5s.

You don’t have to update your iOS installation on your iPhone every time there’s a new update, but if you’re on an older iPhone device with a much older iOS variant, you may have to update to access Apple Pay. Once you’ve passed that hardware hurdle, you need a financial institution that supports Apple Pay in Australia.

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Which banks support Apple Pay in Australia?

Apple Pay launched in the US back in 2014, but has been remarkably slow coming to Australia. American Express was the first to launch Apple Pay down under in late 2015, and even then it was only for cards directly issued by Amex. No other Amex cards offered Apple Pay because the interchange rate that Apple wanted from the banks for each Apple Pay transaction led to lengthy negotiations.

The first of the big banks to jump on the Apple Pay bandwagon in Australia was ANZ, which now offers Apple Pay to its customers and has seen a significant rise in that customer base. It’s expected that the other major banks will get on board with Apple Pay, simply due to the widespread use of iPhone devices in Australia.

It’s worth noting that if you hold a credit card from a financial institution in a country where Apple Pay has already rolled out – for example, the USA or UK – you may be able to use Apple Pay through your overseas card while travelling in Australia. Check with your provider prior to travelling.

Comparison of Credit Cards with Apple Pay

Rates last updated August 23rd, 2017
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
1
14.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Receive a $50 credit when you apply online, are approved and spend $750 within the first 3 months of card membership.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0
0
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Exclusive to finder, receive 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months with no balance transfer fee.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
1
20.74% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Receive a $200 Travel Credit every year and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
1
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months and an uncapped points earning rate.
ANZ Rewards Credit Card
25,000 bonus points
1
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($80 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 25,000 bonus Reward Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from approval.
ANZ Frequent Flyer
25,000 bonus points
0.5
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter)
Get 25,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
1
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Earn uncapped Velocity points on purchases and redeem for a range of rewards including flights, accommodation, car hire and gift cards.
ANZ Rewards Platinum
50,000 bonus points
1.5
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 50,000 bonus Reward Points when you spend $2,500 within the first 3 months from card approval.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
50,000 bonus points
0.75
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter)
Get 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first three months and enjoy a waived annual fee for the first year. Also earn additional Qantas Points per $1 spent on purchases.
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
75,000 bonus points
2
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($375 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 75,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months and complimentary travel insurance.
ANZ Low Rate
0
0
12.49% p.a.
$58 p.a.
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, up to 3 additional cardholders at no cost and Mastercard PayPass.
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
0
0
13.25% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 of eligible spend and receive complimentary travel and purchase protection insurances.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
60,000 bonus points
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$199 p.a.
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement and earn up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
30,000 bonus points
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Enjoy two complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year, plus the protection of complimentary travel and purchase insurance.

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