Time to make contact: Apple Pay is now in the UAE

More consumers will be encouraged to use and accept contactless payments in the UAE, Apple Pay head tells Khaleej Times

Time to make contact: Apple Pay is now in the UAE

Right payment infrastructure with users moving more towards credit and debit card use?


Contactless payment acceptance at a substantial number of merchants?


A large and growing market for Apple devices?


Thanks to these three critical factors – which you can also consider proof of the UAE’s continued efforts in moving towards a more digitised economy – the mobile wallet and digital payment service of the world’s most recognisable tech company is finally here.

Apple Pay is now live in the UAE. And it’s not just another reason to stow away your cash and cards – it’s a big reason.

“With the rollout of Apple Pay, we believe more consumers will be encouraged to use and accept contactless payments in the UAE,” Jennifer Bailey, vice-president of Internet services, Apple Pay, told Khaleej Times in a telephone interview.

“Recent studies have indicated that card spending has increased substantially in the last couple of years – one of the key signs of acceleration towards a cashless environment,” she added.

And Bailey further reminds us: “Moving towards cashless transactions is part of the UAE’s e-government strategy.”

Apple Pay, which was launched on October 20, 2014, started off with just six partner banks in the United States. Today, that number has ballooned to more than 4,000 globally, with over 20 million merchants accepting the service.

And an even bigger deal: the UAE is now among only 20 countries that now enjoy the service. Throughout those three years, Apple Pay was only in 16 territories; along with the UAE, the service also went live in Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Using Apple Pay is as easy as 1-2-3: add a card to your iPhone’s Wallet app (formerly Passbook), hold your device near a contactless card reader at where you’re making a purchase and use Touch ID to complete it. You can also do this action with your Apple Watch – and even if you leave your iPhone far away, you can still use the Watch for Apple Pay. The Touch ID step is also available on iPads and Macs that support it. For in-app purchases, a user just needs to tap the ‘Buy with Apple Pay’ button.

In the soon-to-be-released iPhone X, which lacks a fingerprint sensor, Face ID will be used to authenticate an Apple Pay purchase. More info

By Alvin R. Cabral/Dubai  khaleejtimes.com