NAB gives in to customer demands and finally launches Apple Pay

Apple Watch making a contactless payment. (Source: Apple)

The National Australia Bank has finally come to the table with Apple Pay.

A spokesperson for the bank confirmed to Business Insider Australia that it has launched the product to keep up with evolving customer demands.

The payment system means business and regular customers can pay in-store using their iPhone or Apple Watch and can hook Apple Pay up on their iPad or Mac to simplify purchasing online. It will need to be connected to your NAB Visa debit or credit card.

In a statement emailed to Business Insider Australia, NAB Chief Customer Experience Officer Rachel Slade said the company continues to invest in innovation that customers want.

“We’re continuing to listen to customer feedback and take action to become the bank our customers want,” Slade said. “As part of our transformation we are investing significantly in our technology and digital services to support our customers to manage their money how they choose.”

NAB customers can already take advantage of Google Pay, Android Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay. It is understood the bank has also recently completed a pilot with small businesses using AliPay, Alibaba’s payment system, and will slowly roll it out over the course of the year.

NAB is the third of the big four banks to roll out Apple’s contactless payment system. The four major banks — NAB, Commonwealth, Westpac and ANZ — initially banded together to fight Apple. The banks originally resisted implementing the system in an attempt to force Apple to allow them access to the iPhone’s near-field communication (NFC) chip so they could create their own apps. Apple does not allow third parties to access its NFC hardware.

In April 2016, ANZ became the first bank to break ranks and launch Apple Pay in Australia, after months of talks with the tech giant. According to an interview with ANZ’s Chief Executive Shayne Elliot at the time, the bank hoped to be seen as innovative and keeping up with the needs of its customers.

Almost two years later, in January 2019, Commonwealth Bank joined the party. Westpac customers are the only ones left without payment-enabled iPhones.

Contactless payment on mobiles continues to grow in Australia, with the country having one of the most advanced tap-and-go payment systems. In June 2018, Roy Morgan research showed 12% of all payments in the year prior were contactless, with 7.3% using a bank’s system and 6.1% of Australians using Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay in the previous 12 months.

It’s no wonder the banks have given in to the customer’s demands.

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