Apple Pay Launches in Australia for American Express Cardholders

Apple Pay has launched in Australia in partnership with American Express, expanding iPhone-based mobile payments to a fourth country following Canada earlier this week. The service can be used at Coles, Harvey Norman, Kmart, McDonald's, Starbucks, Woolworths and other select Australian stores that accept American Express and have NFC-equipped payment terminals.

Apple-pay-in-stores-amex
American Express cardholders can add credit cards in the Wallet app on iOS 9.1 by tapping the "Add Credit or Debit Card" option. Apple Pay currently only works with cards issued directly by American Express, and not bank-issued cards like the CommBank Awards American Express or Westpac Altitude Black American Express cards.

Apple says Australian customers will "soon" be able to add store credit cards and loyalty cards to Wallet, and use them to make purchases and redeem rewards with Apple Pay. Kohl's became the first U.S. retailer to offer store-branded cards in Apple Pay last month, while Walgreens launched the first stateside Apple Pay loyalty rewards program a few weeks ago.

American Express is not as popular or widely accepted as MasterCard or Visa in Australia, but the partnership could place pressure on negotiations between Apple and Australian banks like Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac. No bank-issued debit and credit cards work with Apple Pay in Australia at this time.

Australia, like Canada and many European countries, has been well prepared for Apple Pay, as many retailers and businesses have the required contactless payments infrastructure in place. The country has also adopted Chip-and-PIN cards, and Apple Pay is a natural extension of that functionality.

Apple has slowly rolled out Apple Pay since announcing the service, starting with the U.S. in October 2014 and expanding to the U.K. last July. Beyond Australia and Canada, Apple is also partnering with American Express to bring Apple Pay to Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong next year.

Apple Pay recently gained support for Tesco Bank and TSB in the U.K. and over 90 new participating U.S. issuers. Yesterday, Apple confirmed that Apple Pay support is also coming to Domino's and Cinnabon in the U.S. by yearend and 2016 respectively. Starbucks, KFC and Chili's locations will adopt Apple Pay next year.

Apple's website has a new page with more details about Apple Pay in Australia.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

sladey Avatar
108 months ago
I'm confused by this sentiment. Last time I was in Australia about 50% of the stores that I saw had AmEx logos on their doors. Are they a particularly bad bank there or something?
Background to card payments in Australia...

CONTACTLESS PAYMENT: Has been up and running for 5 years already by simply tapping your credit/debit card on the reader at almost every retailer, or more recently your phone with NFC chip sticker on the back. Apple Pay is not a revolution in Australia, its a "who cares" moment. So instead of tapping your phone or card, you tap your phone or watch. Whoop-de-doo!!!

BANKS: there are four main banks in Australia who dominate banking. They take 82 cents per $100 card payment and they are unwilling to make a deal with Apple to hand over 15 cents when the contactless system that exists is in use everyday by nearly every Australian with a bank account. What's in it for the banks to do a deal with Apple? Nothing except a loss of profit.

AMEX: in Australia has in the past charged retailers EXCESSIVE fees for accepting payments. To share the love, retailers have in the past either decided not to accept Amex or charged customers additional fees on top of their purchase cost.

As a result many many Australians do not now and never will use Amex as they are viewed as overcharging scumbags. Some retailers, presumably in order top pick up the tourist dollar from overseas visitors, now accept Amex but for many Australians Amex carries a lot of negative baggage.

Amex has tried to expand its foothold in Australia by:
- reducing its fees slightly to retailers, although their reputation is ingrained in the Australian psyche and some retailers still charge higher fees for using Amex because the public expects them too.
- introducing co-branded Amex cards with large retailers like David Jones. These will work with Apple Pay as they are genuine Amex cards
- introducing co-branded Amex cards with the four banks (although these are usually supplementary cards to a Visa or Mastercard account with those banks). These are the bulk of Amex cards and WILL NOT WORK with Apple Pay because the banks will not give up their lucrative fees.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tmanto02 Avatar
108 months ago
Australia has real coffee, only stupid Americans go to Starbucks in Australia thinking it sells "coffee".
This. Starbucks coffee is rubbish. There are many case studies as to why Starbucks failed in Australia - and the reason was because their coffee is horrible compared to local coffee shops that are literally everywhere.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
entropys Avatar
108 months ago
There must be at least several dozen people in Australia that actively use Amex.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
avanpelt Avatar
108 months ago
ApplePay is infinitely more useful in Australia, Canada, and the UK when cards are loaded into the iPhone than it is here in the U.S. I have every single Amex and Visa card I own linked to ApplePay and almost nowhere to use ApplePay except for fast food joints. And Apple's big news is that Dominos, KFC, Chili's and Cinnabon will be supporting ApplePay soon. Great...even more places to use the technology that my waistline doesn't need.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BrentD Avatar
108 months ago
... stick on NFC chip which is compatible with any smart pone.
Stick on NFC chip... What could possibly go wrong?!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
landroverz7 Avatar
108 months ago
Just added my AMEX card here in Melbourne its 6:45am. Need to wait for the shops to open to try it out haha
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...
Apple Sports App Preview Feature

'Apple Sports' App Announced With Personalized Scoreboards and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:16 am PST by
Apple today announced "Apple Sports," a new free app that provides real-time statistics, scores, and more. Apple Sports features a personalized experience with a user's favorite leagues, tournaments, teams shown on an easy-to-read scoreboard. Users can navigate between scores and upcoming games, explore play-by-play information, team statistics, lineup details, and live betting odds, with...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...