Apple Pay will be awesome in Australia

Apple Pay, Apple's iOS-centric contactless payment system, launched in the United States this week to some scepticism.  While Apple has managed to sign on some big names such as McDonalds, Starbucks, Nike and Disney, contactless payments are far from ubiquitous in America. Analysts have predicted that Apple Pay will be supported in just 5% of American brick-and-mortar stores.

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Apple Pay, Apple's iOS-centric contactless payment system, launched in the United States this week to some scepticism.  While Apple has managed to sign on some big names such as McDonalds, Starbucks, Nike and Disney, contactless payments are far from ubiquitous in America. Analysts have predicted that Apple Pay will be supported in just 5% of American brick-and-mortar stores.

This has led to some doubt about how practical a solution Apple Pay will be. if Apple Pay isn't supported universally, there might not be much incentive to use it, and at the end of the day, paying for something with a credit card or cash isn't that hard.

The Australian situation is completely different. Contactless payment systems are becoming increasingly prevalent in Australia; almost every store I've been too lately has let me pay with payWave. This has ranged from huge national chains like Woolworths, to the coffee shop downstairs, to my small trendy local bakery.

According to MasterCard, Australia is the number one use of PayPass in the world. Visa alone had over 100,000 contactless terminals in the country at the beginning of the year. 

PayPass and payWave terminals use the exact same technology as Apple Pay. Because of this, if you have an American credit card, you can already use Apple Pay in Australia, as Beau Giles and several Whirlpool forum users have found.

The widespread adoption of contactless payment terminals in Australia means that Apple won't have to coerce retailers to adopt Apple Pay; most already support it. Sure, signing McDonalds on in America is an achievement, but in Australia, McDonalds has been taking contactless payments since 2010.

When Apple Pay launches here, an Australian iPhone 6 user will theoretically be able to walk any store and pay with their phone. I think that's kind of amazing, and I can't wait to try. I'm not going to go through the hassle of trying to get an American credit card to try it out, but I'm excited nonetheless.

Of course, there are still late adopters to the contactless payment game, and there are a few stubborn cash only establishments, but if Apple truly wants to kill the wallet, Australia is a country where it actually has a fighting chance.

I've got my fingers crossed that Apple will launch Apple Pay locally soon, because Apple Pay in Australia will be awesome.

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