The Commonwealth Bank has rolled out Apple Pay allowing customers to pay with their Apple devices.
The Commonwealth Bank has rolled out Apple Pay allowing customers to pay with their Apple devices.

CommBank finally rolls out Apple Pay

The nation's largest bank, the Commonwealth Bank, has finally rolled out Apple Pay.

Customers have demanded Apple Pay for years, but rival bank ANZ has been the only big four bank to provide the service until today.

The move will no doubt be an early Christmas present for the bank's millions of customers who have been frustrated by not being able to use their Apple smart devices to pay for purchases.

Apple Pay arrived in the US in 2014 and it was rolled out by ANZ in Australia in April 2016.

CBA's group executive of retail banking services, Angus Sullivan, said the move to implement Apple Pay came after the bank asked customers what they wanted.

"We recently wrote to our customers asking them what the bank could do differently," he said in a statement.

"One of the things we heard repeatedly from our customers is that they want Apple Pay and we're delighted to make it available from today in time for the Christmas holiday period.

"Responding to demand for Apple Pay underscores our commitment to becoming a better, simpler bank."

The Commonwealth Bank has finally rolled Apple Pay to millions of customers.
The Commonwealth Bank has finally rolled Apple Pay to millions of customers.

Apple Pay will be available to use for CBA and Bankwest customers with personal debit and credit cards from today.

This comes after Apple Pay had a tumultuous start in Australia after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) rejected a bid by multiple banks to bargain with Apple over it.

The rest of the big four - all except ANZ - had been seeking approval from the competition regulator to collectively talk with Apple about throwing open the iPhone for use with their own "tap and go" payment options.

Consequently CBA customers were forced to attach a sticker containing an NFC chip to the back of their Apple smartphones to be able to use them at a contactless reader.

CBA risked losing long-running customers by not offering Apple Pay - many remained frustrated they could not access the technology.

Other larger banks to offer Apple Pay includes ING and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

The move also comes after CBA and the other big banks copped a hiding at the financial services Royal Commission for ripping off customers.

This included charging fees for no service, charging advice fees to dead people, and not acting in customers' best interests.

Financial comparison website RateCity's spokeswoman Sally Tindall said the move was long overdue.

"CBA customers have been growing increasingly restless with the absence of Apple Pay, while their big bank counterpart ANZ has led from the front in terms of payment technologies," she said.

"By not offering Apple Pay, CBA was at risk of losing loyal customers who were growing fed up without the technology, and alienating thousands of potential new customers who are wedded to the payment platform on their phones and watches."

"CBA was under pressure to act and has made the right decision."

She said she hoped the move would force the other two big banks - National Australia Bank and Westpac - to roll out Apple Pay.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth