Apple have launched their Apple Pay service in Ireland this morning, 2 years after the service was first launched, and makes Ireland the 14th country to accept their payment service, with the other countries including US, UK, China, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, and Spain.
The service is currently available for customers with KBC and Ulster Bank, however members of other banks can still use the service through Boon, which allows you to add virtual cards for use with Apple Pay services.
The service requires one of Apple's newer phones - iPhone 6 and later - or an Apple watch, for the service to be used. It will also work with the newer iPads, the iPod Touch and online through Mac to pay for services and items online and through apps.
Apple Pay uses multiple layers of security, ensuring payment details are kept private and secure. This security is built into both hardware and software.
"Debit and credit cards are added to Apple’s Wallet, although no number is stored on the device itself, nor does Apple have access to it. Instead, an encrypted account number is stored on the secure chip on your device, which cannot be decrypted by Apple or its software, nor is it stored on Apple Pay servers or iCloud.
“It’s designed not just to protect your financial data, but also what you bought,” said Apple Pay vice-president Jennifer Bailey.
Irish consumers are traditionally heavy users of cash, although the use of contactless payments has picked up in recent years. The introduction of Apple Pay is expected to further accelerate the trend.
“Our customer satisfaction with Apple Pay is high. Once customers use it, they love it, and they seek out stores that use Apple Pay,” said Ms Bailey.
The service can be used at shops that have contactless terminals already installed, which are widely available in Ireland. Among Apple Pay’s launch partners are retailers Insomnia, Centra, and Applegreen, while the Guinness Storehouse will also accept the payments.
“We’ve seen a surge, particularly in the last year,” said Eddie Dillon, director of innovation at KBC Bank Ireland. “There’s been a near 80 per cent increase in the volume of digital online traffic from our existing online customer base. They’re aware of this capability.”
Although the Apple Pay service does not impose a limit on how much customers can spend in a transaction – and nor do the banks – retailers can choose to enforce the €30 contactless limit in place for contactless cards. Some older terminals may also have a limit in place.
Ulster Bank’s director of customer experience and products Maeve McMahon said the introduction of Apple would make mobile payments easier for customers.
“It’s part of our customer-centric innovation strategy,” she said. “In terms of our number, the customer numbers using mobile banking services is up 22 per cent in 2016 over 2015. The way people are banking is changing.”
The launch of Apple Pay comes a matter of months after rival service Android Pay was made available to customers here. AIB and KBC Bank offer that contactless payment service to customers."
Source: Ciara O'Brien, irishtimes.com
- Joseph Flaherty