Apple Pay launches in Australia with American Express

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Apple Pay is now active in Australia but only for American Express cardholders and only for cards issued directly by American Express. This drawback has led to speculation Apple’s popular mobile payment system might not initially perform in its usual spectacular manner in Australia where MasterCard and Visa are immensely more popular than American Express.

Apple Pay is available only on the latest iPhone and Apple Watch models with near field technology(NFC) but can also be used on other Apple devices without NFC such as new iPad models, according to9to5Mac.

It now only works with cards issued directly by American Express, however. Apple Pay doesn’t work on bank-issued American Express cards like the CommBank Awards American Express or Westpac Altitude Black American Express cards, said MacRumours.

On the other hand, Apple said Australians will be able to add store credit cards and loyalty cards to Apple Wallet soon and to use these to make purchases and redeem rewards with Apple Pay.

Apple Pay is now accepted at select Australian retailers such as Coles, Woolworths and Harvey Norman and at popular stores such as McDonald’s, Starbucks and Kmart, among others. Online payments provider eWAY that powers 21,000 online stores and processes a quarter of all online spend in Australia has announced its acceptance of Apple Pay.

Australia is the fourth country offering Apple Pay after the U.S., the UK and Canada. Apple has said it will also partner with American Express to bring Apple Pay to Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong in 2016.