After all the wait, Apple has officially launched their Apple Pay digital wallet service in the UAE. Consumers who are using credit cards from six different banks can make use of the new payment system with an Apple iPhone 6 or above models.
The banks that support Apple Pay include Mashreq, Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, RAK Bank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered. The new wireless service can be made use at any contactless payment terminal (wireless credit card readers for instance) in almost all major retailers in the UAE. The launch of the Apple Pay means that they will be directly competing with Samsung Pay service, that was launched earlier this year.
According to a report by Gulf News, Jennifer Bailey, the VP Internet Services at Apple Pay, stated that “We are incredibly excited to bring Apple Pay to the UAE starting October 24, so customers can have an easy and secure and private way to pay in stores, in apps and on the web and, of course, using the devices they carry with them every day”.
Users will first need to add their credit card details on their iPhones and use the camera to capture the credit card information, followed by other easy instructions that will be explained on screen. When making the payment, the user will only need to hold their iPhone near the contactless terminal and the smartphone will request to authorize the payment with the Touch ID fingerprint scanner or by entering the passcode.
Bailey also told Gulf News that “Recent studies have indicated that card spending has increases substantially over the last couple of years, and that’s one of the key signs of accelerated growth towards a cashless environment”.
“As you know, moving towards cashless transactions is part of the UAE’s government strategy, which has been supported by many of the leading banks in the market. With the rollout of Apple Pay, we believe more consumers will encouraged its use and accept making contactless payments in the UAE.”
The minimum requirements to use Apple Pay is by owning an iPhone 6 or later with IOS 11 and above, or other devices such as an iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, a Mac with macOS Sierra, Apple Watch and more. The user will also need to register for an iCloud account. Currently, the known retailers that support Apple Pay in the UAE are the Apple Store, Virgin Megastore, Caffe Nero, Marks & Spencer’s, Home Centre, and Sharaf DG.