ANZ becomes first bank in Australia with Apple Pay

ANZ customers will be able to use Apple Pay to make contactless payments using the latest Apple Watch or iPhone.

ANZ has become the first major Australian bank to announce it will be offering Apple Pay to its 5 million customers in Australia.

From today, ANZ customers will be able to make contactless payments using the latest Apple iPhone or Watch device where any ANZ Visa debit or credit card, or ANZ American Express credit card is accepted.

The bank has assured no card details are stored on the device or on Apple servers, explaining a unique device account number is "assigned, encrypted, and securely stored" in the "secure element" on the device, and each transaction is authorised with a one-time unique security code.

At the same time, ANZ customers shopping online within apps accepting Apple Pay will be able to use Touch ID to confirm the payment. This feature will be compatible with iPhone 6 and later, as well as iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, and iPad Pro.

ANZ CEO Shayne Elliot said the company is confident that being the first major Australian bank to offer Apple Pay will bring added convenience, security, and privacy to customers.

"The introduction of Apple Pay is a significant milestone in our strategy to use digital technology to provide our customers with a superior experience and will be a watershed moment in the adoption of mobile payments in Australia," he said.

The move by ANZ to introduce Apple Pay to customers follows on from the heavy technology investments it made during the last financial year, where total technology expenses lifted by 15 percent.

Some of the technology investments included the delivery of multichannel platforms that enable employee mobility, the offering of products such as GoMoney and MobilePay, security systems, and enhancing internet banking.

The bank also rolled out its tap and PIN automated teller machines to allow customers to make withdrawals without the need to insert their card into the machine, and instead rely on near-field communication (NFC) technology.

Apple Pay was launched in Australia November last year, but only American Express signed on as a financial institution partner at the time.

The news comes as American Express confirmed it will be making Samsung Pay available in Australia "very soon".

Speaking at the ADMA Data Day in Sydney this week, Rob Bourne, director digital commerce, capabilities & partnerships for American Express Australia and New Zealand, said his company wants to be where the customer wants to pay, confirming it will be on Australian Samsung devices in the near future.

"I can't tell you exactly when it's going to go live, but it's appearing very soon," Bourne said.

"We're not done with just Apple Pay.

"Our view is very simple, we want to give our customers the choice of how they want to pay ... we want to give them that choice and flexibility."

But Apple and Samsung are not alone in the contactless payment space. Google announced in November it was partnering with some of Australia's largest financial institutions -- Westpac, ANZ, St George, Bank of Melbourne, Bank of South Australia, Bendigo Bank, Cuscal, ING Direct, and Macquarie Bank -- to launch Android Pay in Australia in 2016.