Apple Pay hits five major banks in Singapore

Apple Pay arrives at five major banks in Singapore to revolutionise the way people transact at payment counters.

Apple Pay now replaces the use of credit and debit cards across five major banks in Singapore including POSB, DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Standard Chartered Bank.

With the five banks contributing to more than 80% of the Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards issued in the country, Apple Pay plays a major role in revolutionising the way people transact at payment counters in the banks.

Although Apple Pay was initially limited to American Express cardholders in Singapore, Apple has made amends to introduce the new service across 30,000 retail outlets including FairPrice and Cold Storage supermarkets, Starbucks, Guardian and Uniqlo outlets while several others like HSBC, Maybank, Citibank and ANZ are yet to incorporate Apple Pay into their banking services.

According to Channel News Asia, Apple executive Jennifer Bailey had this to say regarding the reason why Singapore was chosen as the first market in the region outside of China to support Apple Pay:

"There are a number of things we look at from a market perspective, as we choose the timing of Apple Pay. The first is, we do have a lot of great iPhone and Apple Watch customers in the market since that are needed in order to use Apple Pay.

"The second is, the penetration of credit and debit cards," she added.

"Singapore is a very popular market for credit and debit - over 78 per cent of the customers here prefer to use credit and debit cards over cash."

"And then the third factor is what we call contactless - which is the way the phone actually talks to the terminal to enable Apple Pay. So you have great contactless acceptance in Singapore as well.

"So all these factors - lots of iPhone customers, lots of contactless, and great credit and debit make it a great market for us."

Apple Pay has seen its entry into several countries outside the US in the last six months including the UK, Australia, Canada and China while several others are awaiting their turn.

Prospective users should note that the Apple Pay service is currently limited to a bunch of Apple devices including iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPad Pro and the Apple Watch.