Apple Pay is a digital wallet that allows you to make contactless purchases in store or online using just your iPhone or Apple device, without your physical debit card. Learn how Apple Pay works, how to set it up and how it compares to other digital wallet solutions in this guide, plus see a comprehensive list of the Australian banks that currently offer Apple Pay.
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What is Apple Pay?
There’s a lot of hype about Apple Pay, but what actually is it? Apple Pay is a digital wallet that securely stores your debit or credit card information within the app. Apple Pay replaces your physical debit card, meaning you can go out with just your phone and still make purchases. You can use the app to make contactless payments in store and online using just your iPhone or Apple device, such as an Apple Watch.
Australian banks that offer Apple Pay
See the Australian banks that offer Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and/or Google Pay in the table below.
|Bank ||Apple Pay||Samsung Pay||Google Pay |
|Bank of Sydney|
|Beyond Bank Australia|
|Big Sky Building Society|
|Bank of Queensland (BAQ)|
|CAPE Credit Union|
|Central Murray Credit Union|
|Central West Credit Union|
|Community First Credit Union|
|Central Coast Credit Union|
|Community Alliance Credit Union|
|Credit Union SA|
|Endeavour Mutual Bank|
|Family First Credit Union|
|Firefighters Mutual Bank|
|First Option Credit Union|
|Ford Credit Union|
|Goulburn Murray Credit Union|
|Holiday Coast Credit Union|
|Horizon Credit Union|
|Illawarra Credit Union|
|Intech Credit Union|
|Laboratories Credit Union|
|Latitude Financial Services|
|Maritime Mining & Power Credit Union|
|Northern Beaches Credit Union|
|Northern Inland Credit Union|
|People’s Choice Credit Union|
|Police Credit Union|
|South West Slopes Credit Union|
|Sydney Credit Union|
|Teachers Mutual Bank|
|Warwick Credit Union|
|WAW Credit Union|
|Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union|
|Queenslanders Credit Union|
How does Apple Pay work?
In simple terms, Apple Pay is a digital version of your existing wallet. By downloading Apple Pay, you can make purchases with your phone by tapping the EFTPOS terminal in the same way that you’d use your debit card to make a tap-and-go payment. Because all your card information is securely stored within the app, it’s very similar to using your physical debit card to tap and go.
To get a bit more technical, Apple Pay uses a near-field-communication (NFC) chip within your smartphone or Apple device to connect to an EFTPOS terminal in replace of your debit card. This chip communicates to a merchant’s point of sale payment terminal and enables the payment to be processed in the same way that a debit card works. This process all happens within seconds of tapping your smartphone or Apple device on the terminal.
Where to use Apple Pay
You can use Apple Pay in-store almost anywhere, from cafes and restaurants to retail shops, grocery chains and service stations. Apple Pay works on any terminal that already accepts contactless, tap-and-go payments.
You can also use Apple Pay to pay for things online and within a range of apps. For example, if you’re ordering Friday-night takeaway on a food delivery app you can simply select “Buy with Apple Pay” to complete the transaction instead of manually entering your card details. The app or website will tell you when you’re making the purchase if it supports Apple Pay.
Which iPhones offer Apple Pay?
The following iPhones are compatible with Apple Pay
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone SE
Which iPads offer Apple Pay?
- iPad (6th generation)
- iPad Pro
- iPad (5th generation)
- iPad Air 2
- iPad mini 4
- iPad mini 3
Which Apple Watch devices offer Apple Pay?
- Apple Watch (1st generation)
- Apple Watch Series 1
- Apple Watch Series 2
- Apple Watch Series 3
How to set up Apple Pay
Setting up Apple Pay is much easier than you’d think. You just need to follow these two simple steps:
- Ensure you have an eligible device and debit card. To set up Apple Pay, you’ll first need to make sure you have an eligible phone from the list above as well as an eligible debit card from a participating bank.
- Add your card. Navigate to Wallet within your iPhone and click the blue plus sign to add a new card. Add in your card security details, and your bank will verify your details. Once this has been verified, your card will appear within the Wallet and you can start using Apple Pay. Easy!
How do I use Apple Pay?
In order to verify the transaction, you’ll be required to use your fingerprint or facial ID when making payments with Apple Pay. Just like the simple set-up process, this is less complicated than it sounds. If you’re using an iPhone 8 or earlier device, when making a payment with Apple Pay, you need to open the Wallet, rest your finger on the Touch ID reader (the middle button on your phone) and hover your phone above the EFTPOS terminal. The payment will be made with your default card, unless you select to use another.
Face ID on iPhone X works in a similar way, except instead of using your fingerprint you need to double-click the side button on your phone then look at the Face ID symbol on the screen. Your phone will register that it’s you, and then enable you to make a payment by again hovering your phone above the contactless terminal. This may sound fiddly and complicated, but it actually only takes a couple of seconds in total.
Is Apple Pay safe?
Yes! Apple Pay uses a number specific to your device in combination with a unique transaction code when you make a purchase. This means that your debit card details, such as the card number and expiry date, aren’t actually stored on your device or by Apple. Plus, you need to use Touch ID or enter a PIN number each time you make a payment with Apple Pay.
In many ways, it’s actually safer than using your physical debit card to make purchases. You can easily misplace your debit card or leave it visible for people to copy the card number. However most people need to enter a PIN number to unlock their smartphone, or even require their own fingerprint to unlock their phone. On top of this, you’re required to use Touch ID, Face ID or enter a PIN when making a payment.
How do I use Apple Pay on my Apple Watch?
With Apple Watch, you can make payments with the flick of your wrist. The benefit of an Apple Watch is that you can travel even lighter, meaning you can still make purchases without your physical wallet or even your phone. An example of when an Apple Watch would be handy is if you’re going for a run and you don’t want to have to carry your phone with you, but you’d like to be able to purchase a post-run coffee.
To use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch, you’ll first need to add your card to the watch. You can do this via the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Once your card is successfully added, you can use your Apple Watch to make purchases. You need to double-click the side button on the watch and hover the screen above the EFTPOS terminal. You’ll feel a slight tap or vibration, meaning that your purchase has been successful.
Pros and Cons of using Apple Pay
- It’s more secure than using your debit card or cash
- You can travel light without carrying a physical wallet
- You can use it to make purchases in-store, within apps and online
- You need an eligible device to use Apple Pay, it doesn’t work on Android or other devices
- Not all banks offer Apple Pay
What are Google Pay and Samsung Pay?
While Apple Pay is the digital wallet offered by tech giant Apple, Google Pay is the digital wallet solution offered by Google and Samsung Pay (you guessed it) is the digital wallet developed by Samsung. It’s important to note that Google Pay is the combination of Android Pay and Google Wallet; Google rebranded to the single name “Google Pay” in early 2018.
If you don’t have a compatible Apple device, you could instead use Google Pay or Samsung Pay to make contactless payments using your phone. These digital wallets work in a very similar way to Apple Pay. For more information on these digital wallets, check out our guide to Samsung Pay here and our guide to Google Pay here.