Malaysia can now use Apple Pay with their iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac. While this service was first available all the way back in 2014, having our first experience in Kuala Lumpur was a moment most Malaysian Apple users have been waiting for.
Whether they’re grabbing a coffee at Starbucks, buying groceries from Village Grocer or making an online purchase from Shopee, thousands of Malaysian retailers will now accept Apple Pay with support from some of Malaysia’s most established banks across major credit and debit networks.
An easier telltale for Apple Pay compatibility is by looking out for the Apple Pay sticker available in some retail stores. We had our experience making purchases in Starbucks and Watsons for the first time which only took a couple of steps by bringing your iPhone close to a contactless terminal, authenticating using Face ID or Touch ID and double-clicking the lock button to confirm.
It's quite a seamless and easy process even when making purchases in Safari; customers can use Apple Pay without having to create an account, key in a PIN, fill out lengthy forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information. Every Apple Pay purchase is authenticated with Face ID, Touch ID or device passcode, as well as a one-time unique dynamic security code.
Users with Visa and Mastercard cards from banks including AmBank, Maybank and Standard Chartered Bank can now use Apple Pay, with American Express cards to be available with Apple Pay later this year. Merchants such as KFC, Maxis, Machines, McDonald’s, Mydin, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, U Mobile, Uniqlo, Village Grocer and Watsons — and apps and websites including Shopee, Sephora, Atome and Adidas — now offer customers the ability to pay with Apple Pay.
A full list of merchants that accept Apple Pay in Malaysia is available here.
Up to 16 credit or debit card numbers can be added and will not be stored on the device or on Apple servers; instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on the user’s device, and each transaction is authorised with a one-time unique dynamic security code. Transactions stay between the customer, the merchant or developer, and the bank or card issuer. If a user’s iPhone is lost or stolen, users can use Find My iPhone to quickly locate, lock, or suspend payments from that device.
Further implementations may be coming soon for travel expenses in Malaysia such as Touch N' Go or GrabPay but there's still no confirmation as to when it will be available or if credit systems would apply as most eWallet services now provide. Whether this might still be the favourable approach to most Malaysians looking for cash-back, points redemption or rebate options, it's only a matter of time till Apple Pay bridges the gap. Let's just hope it won't take another long wait before it does.