Apple has managed to persuade Commbank and its New Zealand subsidiary ASB to join its digital payments scheme that utilises iPhones, iPads, the Watch wearable and the Safari web browser.

Expected to launch next year after Commbank announced the service on social media, some half a million ASB customers with an iPhone 6 or newer device can shop with Apple Pay in real-world and web stores.

ASB is committed to launching Apple Pay in New Zealand. We are working through the process at the moment and will confirm details around timing as soon as possible," a spokeswoman said yesterday.

Banks in Australasia have been reluctant to join Apple Pay, which launched in 2014.
ANZ was first in New Zealand with Apple Pay, launching the service in October 2016, around six months after its Australian counterpart.


BNZ followed suit a year after, with FlexiGroup adding Apple Pay to the Q and Flight Centre MasterCard offerings. Australian-owned lender Latitude Financial Services recently connected its Gem Visa cards with Apple Pay too.

ASB executive general manager of digital data and brand, Simon Tong, said the bank decided to join Apple Pay now to give customers the most options for simple and easy payments, along with existing offerings.

To enrol in Apple Pay, customers need a suitable Apple device and an ASB credit or debit card.

Apple Pay is highly integrated with the American company's devices and software, using Touch ID and Face ID authentication for easy yet secure payments online.

Joining Apple Pay does not mean ASB will ditch its existing payment solutions which Tong said includes PayTag, Garmin Pay, FitBit Pay, online EFTPOS as well as direct to mobile from the bank's mobile app, and the Virtual app for Android devices.

"It is our aim is to give our customers the greatest flexibility possible. ASB is more than happy with the uptake of our contactless mobile payments particularly as adoption has increased over the last 24 months." Tong said.

We'll continue to review our mobile payments suite to make sure we respond to customer demand as new solutions emerge in the market."

Tong declined to reveal how much it has to pay Apple for the payments system, and the share of transaction charges the bank will get.