The Bank of New Zealand, better known as BNZ, on Monday announced it will become the second major financial institution to support Apple Pay in New Zealand, further expanding the fledgling payment solution’s reach into smaller international markets.
BNZ failed to set a date for integration, but the bank said customers will be able to provision a number of Visa-affiliated cards for use on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac once the service launches, reportsStuff. An advertisement posted to BNZ’s website notes Apple Pay support will arrive sometime in October.
The upcoming addition is in response to customer feedback, according to BNZ director of products and technology David Bullock. Whether BNZ members also asked the bank to introduce support for rival contactless payments services like Android Pay or Samsung Pay is unknown.
“More and more retailers are accepting it,” Bullock said of Apple Pay. “There’s a fairly high acceptance rate in New Zealand.”
Apple Pay first landed in New Zealand almost one year ago with initial support from ANZ Bank, but the payments platform has faced an uphill battle toward wide adoption.
Retailers and consumers in the region are inured to another contactless solution in eftpos, a card-based system that does not charge usage fees. Credit card payment processors, on the other hand, charge fees for each transaction, which in New Zealand runs at an average 1.7 percent for credit cards and 1 percent for debit cards, the report said.
As in other markets where credit cards have yet to penetrate, merchants often put minimum purchase limits on transactions. These restrictions, combined with the already mature eftpos system, could put a damper on Apple Pay adoption.
When it launches at BNZ, Apple Pay will include support for BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum, BNZ Advantage Visa Classic, BNZ Advantage Visa Business, BNZ Flexi Debit Visa, BNZ Lite Visa, BNZ Visa Classic and BNZ Visa Platinum cards.
Apple continues to build out its fledgling payments initiative after a 2014 launch, most recently integratingglobal FeliCa support into iPhone 8, iPhone X and Apple Watch Series 3 devices. The additional hardware support could open doors to other Asian countries that rely on FeliCa to process contactless transactions.