At a double tap of a button on an iPhone or an Apple Watch, Malaysians can bring up their preferred payment card on their device and make contactless payments with Apple Pay.
It is not the first nor the only device-centric contactless payment option in Malaysia, but it is certainly the easiest to use and one of the most secure of the bunch.
What Is Apple Pay?
Apple Pay is a mobile payment service by Apple Inc and is not an e-wallet.
In simple terms, Apple Pay is the ability to have a virtual copy of your credit or debit card on your device. You can then use it just like a contactless payment card.
Although each card in Apple Pay on each device has its own unique Device Account Number, it functions just like the original card. You’ll get all the perks of the original card and the bill goes on the original card as well.
Apple Pay also works in Safari on Apple devices. This means you can pay for purchases online (at supported sites) using Apple Pay. No need to enter your personal and payment card information.
Currently, Apple Pay works with cards from three banks. These are Visa and Mastercard cards from AmBank, Maybank, and Standard Chartered Bank, and debit cards from Maybank.
TIP #1: Apple Pay also works with Maybank’s MAE debit card. You can get it by signing up for the e-wallet and requesting one, you don’t even need a bank account.
That’s already a huge swath of cards issued in Malaysia. But it’s not everyone, yet. You can bet that more banks and cards will join Apple Pay very soon.
Apple already announced that American Express cards will be available with Apple Pay later this year.
How To Start With Apple Pay?
Among all the device-centric contactless payment solutions, adding a card to Apple Pay has to be the easiest. It all starts with the Wallet app on the iPhone.
Registering a new card into Apple Pay is super easy. Tap the plus sign at the top right of the app. Tap debit or credit card and scan or enter your card information manually.
For verification, the app will ask for the card’s CVV number (the three digits at the back) and will send a one-time six-digit code to the phone number registered to the card.
You have to do this for every device you want to use Apple Pay on. You can have up to 16 payment cards in an Apple Wallet.
To use Apple Pay double-tap the side button on an Apple Watch or iPhone to call up your default payment card and tap the device onto the payment terminal just like how you would with your contactless payment card.
TIP #2: The iPhone or Apple Watch does not have to be in physical contact with the payment terminal to work. Also, the NFC area on an iPhone is at the top of the device, near where the camera is.
The default credit or debit card is usually the first card you register in Apple Pay. You can change your default card in settings and switch cards before tapping the device to pay. You’ll know which card is which because they will look just like your physical cards (in most cases).
You can use Apple Pay wherever you can use tap to pay with your card. Even at parking and drive-throughs. Local and international.
TIP #3: Not all cashiers may understand what Apple Pay is. It might be easier for you to just say that you are going to “tap to pay” and when they offer the payment terminal to you, use Apple Pay instead of a card.
TIP #4: Do not use your iPhone near a petrol pump. Although it works don’t use Apple Pay on your iPhone to pay at a petrol station pump. Use Apple Pay on Apple Watch instead.
With supported online retailers, there will be an option to pay with Apple Pay. Just tap that, and Apple Pay will handle the payment information.
Why Use Apple Pay When It Works Just Like The Card?
We are more likely to forget our purse or wallet than to forget our iPhone or Apple Watch. Also, these devices are usually more readily at hand (pun intended) than the cards as well, so it is generally faster to pay using Apple Pay.
Compared to a physical payment card, Apple Pay has a few extra layers of security as well. While anyone can tap a card to pay, Apple Pay, be it on the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad or Mac, has to be unlocked and verified using a passcode, Face ID, or Touch ID. It’s fast and seamless.
TIP #6: An Apple Watch must have a passcode to use Apple Pay. You only need to enter the number once, as long as you wear the watch. Take it off, and you’ll have to enter the passcode again.
Because each card on each device is a unique copy of the original card, it can be deactivated remotely and separately from the physical card.
If convenience and security do not impress you, perhaps the fact that making payment using your iPhone or Apple Watch looks cool may persuade you.
One more thing
Apple Pay is not without its quirks. For example, Although it has a nice summary of how much you spend and where it’s not correlated.
You also can’t set limits on your spending on Apple Pay. You can even tap for payments above RM250 without entering a pin.
TIP #6: If you are using an MAE debit card, you can still control your spending by limiting the amount you put in the e-wallet.