sign uplog in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

ANZ NZ customers with Visa credit and debit cards to be offered Apple Pay, bank 'excited' but there are challenges and customer habits to overcome

ANZ NZ customers with Visa credit and debit cards to be offered Apple Pay, bank 'excited' but there are challenges and customer habits to overcome

By Gareth Vaughan & Jenée Tibshraeny

Apple Pay's long awaited New Zealand launch appears imminent, with Apple saying the payment service will soon be available through ANZ-issued Visa credit and debit cards.

And not surprisingly, ANZ itself is "excited," although no launch date has been specified.

"[ANZ] customers are going to love the convenience of Apple Pay, with its easy, secure and private way to make purchases. We’ve seen how popular Apple Pay has been in Australia and we’re excited to soon offer our ANZ New Zealand customers the same great experience," an ANZ NZ spokesman told

On its website Apple says Apple Pay will work with ANZ-issued Visa credit and debit cards.

"Soon you will be able to add your favourite store credit cards and rewards cards to [your] wallet - and use them to make purchases and redeem rewards with Apple Pay. Apple Pay will be accepted in supermarkets, restaurants, boutiques and so many places you already enjoy," Apple says.

Apple Pay's move into the New Zealand market in partnership with ANZ comes with ANZ the only major bank in Australia offering the contactless payments service to date.

The Australian Financial Review recently reported that about 250,000 ANZ Australia customers were using Apple Pay, exceeding the bank's expectations four months after the service was launched. ANZ Australia also recently extended Apple Pay to its Mastercard customers after launching with Visa debit and credit cards and ANZ American Express credit cards.

Apple unveiled Apple Pay in 2014 when its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched with near field communications (NFC) technology enabling contactless payments to be made at the point of sale where contactless payments terminals are available. Ever since then it has been a question of when Apple would bring Apple Pay to New Zealand, and who it might partner with.

ASB, BNZ & Westpac's parents in conflict with Apple

A way Apple makes money through Apple Pay is by taking a slice of bank's interchange fees, or the charges banks levy on merchants' sales. Australia's banks, aside from ANZ, have been unwilling to share any of this with Apple. Aside from ANZ only American Express offers Apple Pay in Australia. After a lengthy stand-off, four other Australian banks, including the parents of New Zealand's ASB, BNZ and Westpac have asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for permission to act collectively to negotiate with Apple over access for their own digital wallet products in its phones, tablets and watches. (There's more here from the ACCC on the issue).

Here in New Zealand Semble, which offered contactless payments to ASB and BNZ customers using Android smartphones, pulled the plug in July. However, both ASB and ANZ offer their own contactless payments services to Android smartphone users. ANZ says its goMoney wallet now has 37,000 users, and this will remain an Android only offering.

Given the situation in Australia, not surprisingly none of New Zealand three other Australian owned banks appears close to partnering with Apple Pay.

“ASB remains committed to offering all our customers a full suite of mobile and online payment options so they can find the one that best fits their needs. We continue to keep a close eye on the Apple Pay platform," an ASB spokeswoman said.

"While we’ve held discussions with Apple, there is no ETA for Apple Pay at this point," a Westpac NZ spokeswoman said. She added that Westpac's "on track to deliver" a mobile wallet service for Android smartphone users based on host card emulation technology, with "project times being worked through."

A BNZ spokeswoman, responding to questions about Apple Pay and any BNZ Android wallet said: "We have nothing new to share at this stage but we’ll keep you in the loop with news or announcements." 

Challenges & habits to overcome

Semble CEO Rob Ellis told in July the challenges Semble had faced included the limited penetration of contactless payments terminals in New Zealand. He estimated about 25% to 30% of payments terminals could make contactless payments with the bulk at supermarkets, petrol stations and major retailers. In Australia about 70% of payments terminals now accept contactless payments.

Another challenge cited by Ellis is the convenience of plastic cards, and consumers' habitual use of them, including EFTPOS.

"The convenience of using a plastic card is certainly something that is a challenge for mobile payments to overcome. Because it's a habitual thing and it's an engrained habit. It's very convenient today and people are used to using plastic cards. And so I wouldn't point to EFTPOS specifically, but the use of cards generally is convenient. And the research out of the US about Apple Pay [entitled Apple Pay's tough 20 months] that was done by and InfoScout, also refers to the convenience of plastic. And perhaps there are habits that need to be changed for people to use mobile payments," Ellis said in July.

IDC New Zealand’s country manager Peter Wise told “Apple Pay is going to build, but it’s not going to go crazy right across New Zealand.”

iPhones about 30% of the smartphone market

Of everyone in New Zealand with a mobile phone, around 82% have smartphones and 25% to 30% have Apple iPhones. IDC’s mobile device analyst Chayse Gordon said New Zealand’s high rate of adoption of EFTPOS could limit the uptake of Apple Pay.

“At least in the short term, there are still going to be people wanting to use EFTPOS and cash.”

Yet Gordon maintains Apple Pay is a more secure payment method than using a "tap and go" contactless credit or debit card, and includes the bonus of letting you make payments though apps on your iPhone. He sees Apple Pay as the “first generation” of smart wallets, so maintained the uptake would increase as technology develops to make it easier to use and the security features are enhanced, perhaps to the point iris scanning is used.

Wise added: “The mobile wallets are going to become more sophisticated. They might have for instance coupons, or your coffee card might be on your phone in the future, so that might be a reason to make it more integrated.”

Gordon believed the uptake of Apple Pay had been “good” in Australia. He expected New Zealand to follow suit, but noted there would be a delay, as New Zealand typically lags behind Australia when it comes to technology. Wise pointed out the uptake of mobile banking apps has been really good, but it depends on the “look and feel” as to whether the uptake of Apple Pay may follow a similar trajectory.

The news of Apple Pay's imminent New Zealand launch came on the same day the technology giant made a series of announcements, including unveiling its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Wow, this is really exciting if you're an Apple fanboy. ;+) And, finally some clear differentiation between banks. Could this finally be a reason to move my banking. I haven't done so for 30 years or more - we all know how onerous a task this can be.

I'm wondering if merchants will add charges to transactions like some do with credit cards on this.

This could be the start of something big.

I know of top execs at the banks who see the likes of apple, google, fb as legitimate threats.

Banks are transactional, rely heavily on technology, and require a great deal of capital. These are all key components of these technology stocks.

Also because of nz's location, and size we are often at the forefront of new technology

NZ has had Paywave since 2011, while the US has only just introduced contactless payment system primarily through the likes of Apple and Google. That's the only reason why they have gained a significant foothold in the US.

Apple Pay doesn't provide NZ with much more than we already enjoy. Sure, there's linkages to paying for items online, but paywave and chip 'n pin along with contactless payment via Banking apps already have a stronghold in NZ.

So what's next?
What is wrong with cash?
Too bleeding hard?
The Till monkey at the local cafe not educated enough to count out $2.65 in cash for a cup of coffee?
Make cash hard enough to deal with and these leeches move in.
Meanwhile Apple Pay take a slice and get to snoop on what you buy, via their payment system, so they can sell ads based on your purchasing profile, to the highest bidder.
That seems like their business model.

So what's next?
Whats wrong with batering with grains and seeds?
Too bleeding hard?
The Till monkey at the local cafe (who probably has a degree or a doctorate but cant find a job in their industry because all the entry level jobs require 20 years experience) doesn't have the time to count change because the baby boomer owner keeps screwing down the FTE staffing levels to increase profits
etc etc etc

That was clever right up to the tired boomer swipe.

"educated enough to count out $2.65 in cash for a cup of coffee"

Wow, which cafe do you go to moa man? I haven't had a coffee for less than $4.00 that I can remember.
I personally hope that cash goes the moa way sooner or later :)

I go to the cafe of hard knocks.

Well if someone working at a cafe has doctorate, then there is something seriously wrong.
Perhaps free education is the problem? Perhaps the students are useless.
A lolly scramble.
Not all are worthy of a public funded education above secondary school.

So here's why this is bad, Apple takes a cut out of every payment and pays less no tax. A good way to drain money from the NZ economy.

So here's why this is bad, Apple takes a cut out of every payment and pays no tax. A good way to drain money from the NZ economy.

Perhaps you can explain explain you think Apple should offer this facility for nothing ?

They are a business with shareholders and I have every confidence that ANZ are quite capable of agreeing terms that add value to all participants.

I personally will be using this facility to save me carting around cards.

the killer technology isn’t the elimination of cash. It’s the combination of payment data and the information stream that cellphones, particularly smartphones, deliver. Now everything is tracked neatly by a single device that transmits that data on a constant basis to a number of companies, including that genius app developer in Russia — rather than having that information spread over various banks, credit card companies, etc. who don’t always eagerly surrender that data.

Eventually, it might even eliminate the need for data brokers. At that point, a single device knows practically everything. And from there, it’s one simple step to transfer part or all of this data to any government’s data base. Opinions are divided over whom to distrust more: governments or corporations. But one thing we know: mobile payments and the elimination of cash….will also make life a lot easier for governments and corporations in their quest for the perfect surveillance society.

Dissent is increasingly being criminalised, with legitimate dissenters commonly referred to, and treated as, domestic terrorists and potentially subjected to arbitrary asset confiscation:

An important reason why the state would like to see a cashless society is that it would make it easier to seize our wealth electronically. It would be a modern-day version of FDR’s confiscation of privately-held gold in the 1930s. The state will make more and more use of “threats of terrorism” to seize financial assets. It is already talking about expanding the definition of “terrorist threat” to include critics of government like myself.

The American state already confiscates financial assets under the protection of various guises such as the PATRIOT Act. I first realized this years ago when I paid for a new car with a personal check that bounced. The car dealer informed me that the IRS had, without my knowledge, taken 20 percent of the funds that I had transferred from a mutual fund to my bank account in order to buy the car. The IRS told me that it was doing this to deter terrorism, and that I could count it toward next year’s tax bill.

"Opinions are divided over whom to distrust more: governments or corporations."

Always distrust the Corporations more. The Government are selling out to them, not the other way around.

By far the biggest risk posed by digital alternatives to cash such as mobile money is the potential for massive concentration of financial power and the abuses and conflicts of interest that would almost certainly ensue. Naturally it goes without saying that most of the institutions that will rule the digital money space will be the very same institutions….that have already broken pretty much every rule in the financial service rule book.

They have manipulated virtually every market in existence; they have commodified and financialized pretty much every natural resource of value on this planet; and in the wake of the financial crisis they almost single-handedly caused, they have extorted billions of dollars from the pockets of their own customers and trillions from hard-up taxpayers. What about your respective government authorities? Do you trust them?…

….We are, it seems, descending into a world where new technologies threaten to put absolute power well within the grasp of a select group of individuals and organizations — individuals and organizations that have through their repeated actions betrayed just about every possible notion of mutual trust.