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Westpac Group has announced that customers of its wholly owned subsidiaries St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA will now have access to Apple Pay as a digital method of payment.
While customers of the subsidiary banks will be able to access Apple Pay over Christmas, Westpac customers will not be able to access the system until a later date.
According to Westpac, the major bank is “committed to delivering Apple Pay to Westpac customers by June 2020”, making them the last of the major banks to offer the platform to customers.
David Lindberg, Westpac group chief executive, consumer, said launching Apple Pay for customers had been a priority for him ever since he was appointed to lead the bank’s consumer division earlier this year.
“We’re excited to introduce Apple Pay for St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA, as part of our commitment to changing our business to better meet the needs of our customers,” Mr Lindberg said.
“We want to assure Westpac customers we are working to bring them Apple Pay as quickly as possible, while we roll out the technology across our different banking platforms.”
Apple Pay launched in Australia in 2015, with ANZ the first major bank to offer the platform to its customers in 2016, followed by CBA and NAB.
Dozens of smaller lenders have also already offered the platform to their customers.
Sally Tindall, research director at RateCity, said Westpac had fallen far behind the other majors when it comes to access to the latest technological advances for customers.
“The end is finally in sight for Westpac customers, but many will be wondering why they have to wait another six months to access a platform that’s been on the wrists and screens of other big bank customers for years,” Ms Tindall said.
“Even some smaller banks and card issuers have competed fiercely in this field, offering up the three main platforms to their customers.
“By dragging the chain on Apple Pay technology, Westpac was jeopardising some of the bank’s existing customers, and potential new ones.
“Westpac has realised that some Australians would rather switch banks than brands of phones in order to get the right payment technology in their pocket.”