SINGAPORE: Apple's mobile payment and digital wallet service, Apple Pay, was launched in the Republic on Tuesday (Apr 19), announced the tech giant and American Express.
In a statement, Apple said the service is available for eligible America Express-issued credit cards in Singapore, while some other banks such as DBS Bank, UOB and Standard Chartered will also provide the service in the coming months.
"Starting today, Apple Pay is available for eligible American Express-issued credit cards in Singapore, so customers can now pay in an easy, secure and more private way," said Apple Pay Vice President Jennifer Bailey.
American Express Singapore Country Manager Cheng Heng Chew said that Apple Pay will benefit both retailers and consumers.
"Apple Pay benefits our merchant customers looking for efficient and secure ways for their customers to shop and pay, while reducing time spent at point of sale. Contactless technology helps satisfy shoppers’ desire for speed and convenience as well as simplifying the payment process for businesses," said Mr Cheng.
According to Apple's website, participating merchants include NTUC FairPrice, Starbucks, Uniqlo and Din Tai Fung restaurant. StarHub appears to be the only telco participating in the mobile payment service currently.
During a hands-on event at a Uniqlo store on Tuesday, Apple representatives showcased the use of Apple Pay. Entering a new America Express card into the Wallet app was as simple as scanning the card in the app as well as furnishing a few extra details, while payment worked with a single tap.
Apple representatives also pointed out security features included in their system. For example, Apple said that card details were not stored on the phone or on Apple's servers, but each card is instead given a unique "Device Account Number" that is stored on the phone. Each transaction is then authorised with a one-time unique dynamic security code.
NEWER APPLE DEVICES SUPPORTED
In October last year, American Express announced that Apple Pay will launch in Singapore this year, together with Spain and Hong Kong. The payment service is currently available in the US, China, Australia, the UK and Canada.
American Express said that with Apple Pay, consumers can add their eligible personal and corporate cards and pay with their Apple devices at participating stores where contactless American Express payments are accepted.
"Card members will also be able to use their iPhone or iPad to pay within participating merchant apps," added American Express.
Not all iOS devices are supported: Apple Pay in stores only works with the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. Additionally, consumers can also use the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro - on top of the devices mentioned above - for payments within apps.
The payments service provider added that card-holders who use an eligible American Express Card with Apple Pay will get real-time notifications and details for purchases, as well as a seamless connection to the Amex Mobile app for enhanced account monitoring, servicing and access to available rewards and offers.
VISA TO JOIN APPLE PAY BANDWAGON
Visa also announced on Tuesday that Apple Pay will be made available to local cardholders soon.
In a statement, the credit card company noted that Singaporeans have embraced contactless payments, with more than one in three Visa transactions being conducted via Visa payWave, instead of cash.
"Contactless payments and ‘going cashless’ are becoming a part of everyday life, as more consumers and retailers realise that contactless brings greater convenience and faster checkouts for busy people on the go," Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei, said.
"We’re confident the introduction of Apple Pay will be welcomed by all Singaporeans and we look forward to working with our clients to support this technology."