The mobile payment service will also work with German payment processor Wirecard’s Boon service, enabling users who are not customers of a specific bank to add a virtual Boon card to Apple Pay to fund purchases at the “tens of thousands” of supporting retailers across the country.
Some of the retailers accepting Apple Pay in stores include Aldi, Amber, Burger King, Boots, Dunnes Stores, Post Point and Lidl, while in-app supporting retailers include HotelTonight, EasyJet, Zara and Uber.
The service is available on iPhone 6 devices or later, iPhone SE, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 or later and an Apple Watch paired to an iPhone 5 or later.
“Apple Pay works with most of the major credit and debit cards from the top Irish banks,” Apple says. “Just add your participating cards to Wallet and you’ll continue to get all the rewards, benefits and security of your cards.”
Allied Irish Banks (AIB) is currently “in discussion with a number of payment service providers, including Apple,” according to Independent.ie, but the bank is “not in a position to confirm timing of such payment development at this time”.
Other notable banks who are not signed up to support Apple Pay currently include Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB. A spokesperson for Permanent TSB told the publication the bank’s focus is on “other things at present”.
“We ultimately want to bring Apple Pay to as many users in Ireland as possible,” added head of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey. “But, even if your primary bank isn’t involved today with Apple Pay, you can still use Apple Pay with Boon prepay.”
KBC’s support comes in “direct response to customers’ needs”, the bank says, as mobile and online usage by its customers rose by 74% in 2016.
“This development enhances our €100m (US$105.7m) multi-year investment plan in digital channels, banking systems and physical presence in Ireland,” says Eddie Dillon, director of innovation at KBC Bank Ireland.
“We were the first bank in Ireland with mobile current account openings and now customers can pay for goods worldwide anywhere contactless payments are accepted by simply using their mobile phone.”
“Ulster Bank was the first Northern Ireland-based bank to introduce Touch ID on our mobile app this year and we were also the first bank to introduce paperless account opening for our customers in Northern Ireland,” says Ulster Bank’s managing director of retail banking Richard Donnan.
“The introduction of Apple Pay is another exciting new opportunity for our customers.”
Apple Pay is now available in 15 markets: the US, UK, Canada, Australia, China, Singapore, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong, Russia, New Zealand, Japan, Spain and Taiwan.
Google’s Android Pay launched in Ireland in December 2016, with support from Visa, Mastercard, AIB and KBC.