UPDATED 20/4: Apple launched Apple Pay in Singapore, the third country in Asia after China and Australia and sixth in the world to offer the digital payment service, with rival Samsung pledging to follow shortly.
In the first phase, American Express credit card holders can use Apple’s mobile payments service, with support for DBS, UOB and Standard Chartered credit and debit cards, and Visa credit cards, coming in the next few months, Apple said.
Apple Pay also is supported by a number of retailers, including mobile operators Singtel and StarHub, Starbucks, Shaw Theaters and Uniqlo, with more expected to be announced soon.
In stores Apple Pay is supported on the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s and 6 series and Apple Watch. When paying for goods and services within apps, Apple Pay also works with the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and 4, and iPad Pro.
Meanwhile, Samsung Pay will go live in Singapore “as early as Q2 2016,” said the South Korean vendor. Its partners will include Amex, MasterCard and Visa, alongside local banks DBS/POSB, OCBC Bank and Standard Chartered. Samsung did not namecheck any retailer partnerships but did say consumers will be able to make payments at launch across a number of merchant categories, including supermarkets, department stores and food outlets.
Samsung and Apple are currently payments rivals in two markets: the US and China.
Apple Pay officially launched in China in February, after sealing a deal with the country’s dominant card-payment processor. Partnering with Unionpay gives Apple exposure to hundreds of millions of potential customers, or about 80 per cent of the country’s cardholders.
Like in Singapore, Apple Pay in Australia and Canada was only available to American Express cardholders at launch.