Apple Pay now available to CUA customers

The member-owned financial services provider has launched Apple Pay for CUA-issued Visa debit cards.

CUA has announced the launch of Apple Pay, allowing customers of the member-owned financial organisation to use their CUA Visa Debit card through the iPhone maker's digital wallet.

In a statement, CUA said the launch of Apple Pay feeds into the institution's focus on digital capability and investing in digital channels.

"CUA members have been asking when we'd be rolling out Apple Pay and we are excited that they can now enjoy the benefits and convenience of making payments using their Apple devices," said CUA chief operating officer for member services Andy Rigg.

Apple Pay was launched in Australia in November, with American Express the only financial institution partner joining the iPhone maker's near-field communication (NFC) payments at the time.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) was then the first bank in the country to integrate Apple Pay, with ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott admitting in April that the launch was in direct response to the "hounding" he received from customers on Twitter and via email.

ANZ is the only member of Australia's big four to embrace Apple Pay by leaving the group of banks requesting collective bargaining rights with Apple.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, Westpac Bank, and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have been seeking regulatory approval to collectively negotiate with third-party mobile providers such as Apple on conditions relating to competition, best practice standards, and efficiency.

Specifically, they want non-exclusive access to the NFC chip, standardised security for all mobile payments systems, and price transparency on transaction costs within Australia.

"Collective negotiation is necessary in a context where Apple has the ability and incentive to lock competitors out of the iPhone's NFC technology needed to make integrated mobile payments," the banks said in their joint response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last month.

According to a list published last week by Australian independent payment solutions provider Cuscal, 31 financial institutions will be soon joining ANZ and CUA in offering Apple Pay in Australia.

The list includes: Bank Australia, Catalyst Money, Credit Union SA, Defence Bank, My State Bank, People's Choice Credit Union, Police Bank, Customs Bank, QT Mutual Bank, Teachers Mutual Bank, UniBank, and Woolworths Employees' Credit Union.

CUA announced its partnership with Android Pay in August, allowing CUA Visa debit card and CUA credit card customers to pay with the digital wallet.

"The way our members choose to pay is changing with a rapid increase in contactless payments over the past year. The launch of Android Pay is the next stage of the exciting evolution of banking in Australia," Rigg said at the time.

"CUA has a track record of working with third parties to leverage external expertise to make us a leader in providing mobile payment technologies to our members."

CUA was also the first financial institution in the Asia Pacific to launch a mobile tap-and-pay app, with its with redi2PAY platform that turns any NFC-enabled smartphone running the latest Andorid operating system into a contactless payment device.

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