Taiwan to become 14th country to get Apple Pay

By Christine Chou, The China Post

Mobile payment service Apple Pay will soon be available in Taiwan, the U.S. consumer electronics giant Apple Inc. officially announced on Wednesday.

The company said on their website that the service will allow consumers in Taiwan to use their iPhones and Apple Watches to make payments, but have not yet revealed the exact date services will start. It said shoppers would only need to place a finger on their Touch ID sensor and hold their iPhone within an inch of the contactless reader to complete a transaction. Apple Watch users could double-click the side button and hold the display within an inch of the contactless reader, then wait for a gentle tap that signals the purchase has been made. Seven major banks will support the service in Apple Pay’s initial launch in Taiwan — including Cathay United Bank, CTBC Bank, E. Sun Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, Taishin International Bank and Union Bank of Taiwan, confirmed Apple.

Apple Pay, which allowed for contactless payments via iOS apps, was introduced on the global market in September 2014. Taiwan will be the 14th location to have the Apple Pay system, following the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, China, France, Russia, Switzerland, New Zealand, Spain, Singapore and Japan. The news comes after Samsung Electronics announced last November that it would release its rival digital wallet service Samsung Pay in Taiwan, some time in the first half of this year.

Samsung said what differentiates it from Apple’s system is theirs can be used on existing contactless payment equipment, so retailers would not have to purchase an additional machine.

However, market watchers expect most shop owners to install Apple’s system, given the prevalence of iOS devices in Taiwan. Currently, Google’s Android Pay — another widely anticipated electronic payment service — is only available in the U.S. and U.K but they have announced they will expand to other territories, including Hong Kong and Singapore.

Google has not revealed if or when it will launch the service in Taiwan.