Apple Pay is now available in South Korea

    After months of regulating delays, Apple users in South Korea finally saw the launch of Apple Pay today. As with others marketsApple’s wallet and payment service in Korea works on iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac.

    The question now is whether Google is also trying to offer a mobile payment service via Google Pay since 2017plans to expand its payment business in South KoreaA.

    “Apple Pay is available in South Korea starting today,” Duncan Olby, who leads Apple Pay, Wallet and Payment for international markets, said at a news conference in Seoul on Tuesday. “Users can add their credit and debit cards to Wallet for their iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac.”

    Apple Pay customers can pay with their smartphone instead of physical cards in stores such as supermarkets, restaurants and cafes across South Korea, and make purchases online, in-app, in-store and on the web.

    “When purchasing online in Safari (or other third-party browsers starting with iOS 16) or in apps, customers can use Apple Pay without creating an account, entering a PIN, filling out lengthy forms, or repeatedly entering shipping and billing information” the company said in its statement.

    Apple, which introduced Apply Pay in 2014, has been trying to bring the payment system to South Korea since 2017. Delays initial were due to Apple’s failure to register as an operator of an electronic finance company in the country. Later local supervisors viewed closely whether the company’s payment system violated Korean payment rules, further delaying the launch.

    Last month, a South Korean financial regulator approved the long wait for Apple’s payment service. The country’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said it would introduce Apple Pay in South Korea and allow local cardholders to use Apple’s payment service, including Hyundai Card. That last one was original in talks to have a one-year exclusivity partnership with Apple Pay in Korea, but has given up.

    However, no other local card providers appear to have participated in Apply Pay so far over there Hyundai card got what it wanted by default, at least for now.

    According to the company’s statement, only customers with Visa, Mastercard and local credit and debit cards issued by Hyundai Card will be able to add their cards to Apply Pay.

    Image Credits: Hyundai card

    The Cupertino-based company has made a big catch up are security and privacy profile. These “are at the heart of Apple Pay, which provides industry-leading protection for users’ personal information, transactional data, and credit and debit card information.” Card numbers are not stored on devices or Apple servers. Apple instead saida unique device account number is encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element chip.

    South Korea’s limited number of Near Field Communication (NFC) terminals in stores may still be a barrier to Apple Pay. (Only about 10% of South Korea’s 2.9 million local retailers reportedly have NFC enabled in their credit card terminals.) But, more NFC terminal installations are expected to increase by the end of 2023, according to a recent report from Counterpoint, who also says that The launch of Apple Pay could increase competition in the South Korean payments market and between competitors such as Samsung Pay, Naver Pay and Kakao Pay. iPhone and Apple Watch users are likely to switch to Apple Pay, it noted.

    “Many of our users here have been eager to use Apple Pay for their everyday spending in-store, online and in-apps, so we’re excited to roll out and make seamless and secure payments available to top merchants in South Korea,” Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, said in a statement.

    Apple Pay is now available in more than 70 countries and regions and works with more than 10,000 banks around the world.

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