All it takes is a quick tap on your iPhone: Apple Pay in the UAE

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  • This is the first time the service is available in the Middle East.
  • Apple Pay now competes directly with Samsung Pay and BEAM (an e-payment service available since 2012).
  • Moving toward cashless transactions is part of the UAE’s government strategy and “Smart City” initiative.
  • Taxi passengers in Dubai can now pay their fares via Apple Pay.

Does the idea of using your phone to make a purchase sound compelling?

Enter Apple Pay, Apple’s digital wallet, which launched in the UAE in October last year as the country continues to see growth towards a cashless environment. Yes, you can use Apple Pay to purchase your coffee. It’s that mind-blowing and exciting.

If you’re from the region, and in a country where cash (followed by credit cards) still relatively reigns supreme when it comes to making transactions, chances are you’ve been suspicious of sharing credit card details online at one point or another. Your parents have been cautious to do so and have warned you. Perhaps, your friends too.

Today, however, digital wallets have been getting popular in the UAE thanks to the country’s advanced payment infrastructure, says Rabia Yasmeen, Analyst – Services & Payments at Euromonitor told Gulf News. Apple Pay is a novel way to pay securely, as Apple does not store the credit card information on your device or apple services, and the merchants do not get to share your info.

apple pay

Benefits of Apple Pay

  • Comfortable and secure thanks to a process called “tokenization,” which consists of a token replacing all of a user’s unique, sensitive data with information that cannot be used in any other way.
  • Private (the company doesn’t know what you bought, where you bought it, or how much you paid for it).
  • If you lose your phone, data or cards associated with the phone can be removed remotely.
  • Versatile (you can pay in stores, on apps, on the web…using your device).
  • Can be used anywhere that has a contactless payment terminal such as the wireless credit card readers which are available in most retailers around the UAE (such as Virgin Megastore, Caffe Nero, Marks & Spencer, Sharaf DG, Home Centre, etc.)

Very recently, RTA taxi has introduced Apple Pay. As many as 8,000 cabs have installed the technology (which also works with Samsung Pay) according to the Time Out Dubai.

You need one of these options get started with Apple Pay:

  • An iPhone 6 or later with iOS 11
  • An iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 with iOS 11 or later
  • A Mac 2012 or later (running mac OS Sierra or later)
  • An Apple Watch

As well as:

  • UAE as your selected region
  • An iCloud accounts
  • A credit card from any of these six UAE banks: Mashreq, Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic RAK Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered)

How to set up and use Apple Pay in the UAE

Setting up your Apple Pay is extremely simple. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open up the Wallet app on your iPhone or go to Settings and then “Wallet & Apple Pay.”
  2. You are then prompted to add a card. Fill in your card details and your code. If you have already registered the same card for your Apple account or iTunes, then you will be prompted to either continue with that card or set up a new one.
  3. Once you add your details, your card is verified by your bank. And voilà! You’re good to go.
  4. You can fiddle with the settings so that it suits your likings and preferences.
  5. Make sure you also use your Apple Pay to scan in boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons and reward cards!
  6. When you make a purchase, hold your phone near the retailer’s contactless payment terminal. To complete your payment, your iPhone will request you to confirm your purchase by using either Touch ID or your passcode.

Digital payments are indisputably the future payment method of choice, with ultimate security and improved experience on offer today. So, we expect you to Apple Pay away and start making history!


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Aqeed is on a mission to help you become better at everything related to insurance. The articles are meant to enrich your knowledge about insurance so that you make the right choices. From the decisions you make to the options you take, you are In Sure Hands.

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