BNZ is to offer its customers the ability to use their Apple iPhone or watch to pay at contactless terminals - the second bank to do so in New Zealand.

The BNZ move follows that of ANZ which launched Apple Pay in New Zealand a year ago.

BNZ will now be the only major New Zealand bank to offer Apple Pay and Android Pay, which it launched in December last year.

Stephen Bowe, head of digital at the BNZ, said it was not putting a specific date on when it would be available but it would be here by the end of October.

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BNZ customers will need either a visa debit or visa credit card to use the service and can sign up using the BNZ mobile banking app.

Bowe said take-up of Android pay had been "pretty good" considering it was still early days for making mobile payments.

In launching Apple Pay BNZ was listening to what its customers wanted, he said.

"We have had a lot of customers asking for this."

A large number of its mobile banking customers used iPhones.

Bowe said mobile payments were still growing but people were increasingly living in a digital world and the mobile phone was becoming the "remote control" for our financial lives.

While Apple Pay might not be the predominant way to pay, it gave people another option.

The bank had not set specific targets for take-up but Bowe said he expected mobile banking customers who have iPhones to be the main users.

iPhones and watches use near-field communication technology to connect to the terminal and make the payment.

A simple wave is enough for payments up to $80. Transactions over than amount can also be paid for but require a pin number to be entered.

A person's credit or debit card details are not stored on their phone and only a unique generated number is used when paying for the item.

Bowe said mobile payments were probably the safest way to pay.

"People are more likely to leave their wallet at home than their phone. This is safer and a more convenient way to pay."

While BNZ will launch Apple Pay, its parent company National Australia Bank isn't launching the payment system today.

Bowe said that was down to the markets being different between New Zealand and Australia.

"This is something we have done for our customers."

Bowe said BNZ had to make extensive changes to its back-end systems to allow the technology to be used.