Apple Pay debuted in South Korea today (21 March) nine years after its global launch, giving the country’s dominant mobile pay platform Samsung Pay some competition.

The Korea Herald noted Apple Pay faces various obstacles in the country, as users cannot pay for public transport and an estimated 70,000 of some 2.9 million retail outlets have the NFC readers required to accept the payment method.

Another challenge is Android-powered smartphones dominate, with less than 20 per cent of the country’s mobile subscribers using iPhones, the newspaper noted.

Duncan Olby, head of Apple Pay and Wallets for international markets, reportedly told press users’ card numbers are not stored on the company’s servers, noting “a unique device account number is encrypted and stored in the secure element, which is a certified chip” on its devices.

Olby added Apple Pay will not collect information about purchases or the amount involved, The Korea Herald wrote.

Apple faced challenges registering as an electronic financial business operator, with the payment service investigated for potential violations of domestic regulations.

Apple previously had to acquiesce to South Korean regulations involving third-party payment mechanisms for in-app payments on services offered through its App Store.