Apple Pay finally taps into New Zealand


Apple Pay has finally arrived in New Zealand, allowing hundreds of thousands of iPhone owners to turn their device into a digital wallet.

There's just one catch - they'll need to be ANZ customers with a Visa or debit card.

"We are so excited to be able to welcome Apple Pay to New Zealand - it's even more exciting that ANZ is the first bank in New Zealand to offer Apple Pay to our customers," says Liz Maguire, head of Digital and Transformation at ANZ.

Apple Pay is the only mobile payment system that will work on iPhones. It's available on the iPhone 6 and later models, the Apple Watch and newer iPads.

Unlike other mobile payment systems, it doesn't require users to open up an app on their phone. They simply hover the device over a contactless terminal and then authenticate the purchase with their fingerprint. If the purchase amount is more than $80, they will also be prompted to enter a pin.

Credit card details aren't stored or passed onto the retailer. They're just entered once, when first setting up, and the bank then issues a unique number.

"It's so quick and it's so convenient," Ms Maguire says. 

"The phone knows it's near a terminal and wakes up - you don't even have to wake up your phone, it's really fantastic."

The devices contain 'Near Field Communication' chips, meaning there is no need for an internet connection to make a payment.

The Apple Watch can be used to make a payment without the person having to carry their phone.

Ms Maguire says there's already been great feedback on social media since the announcement.

"We know that there's lots of customers that are really keen to use this new service," she says.

With more than 50 percent of the bank's Visa transactions already contactless, it expects Apple Pay to be popular.

Kiwis with Android phones currently have a choice of using mobile payment apps offered by individual banks.

Semble, a locally developed app for android phones, was shelved this year after low take up and Google's offering, Android Pay, already available in Australia, has yet to arrive here.

ANZ in Australia reported a surge in applications for credit cards and deposit accounts after it introduced Apple Pay last year, which has forced the other major banks to re-enter negotiations with the technology giant.

The main issue seems to be how to divide up the billions of dollars of fee income banks earn from processing payments.

Other New Zealand banks are likely to be watching ANZ's progress here with interest.


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