A Quick Guide To Digital Wallets in New Zealand
Smart Money

A Quick Guide To Digital Wallets in New Zealand

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The idea behind a digital wallet is that it essentially allows you to carry everything you have in your physical wallet in an electronic format, which you can then access using your your smartphone, your smartwatch, your tablet, or any other internet-linked device.

Why use a digital wallet?

Digital wallets are all about convenience. Instead of carrying a number of credit cards and debit cards around with you in a bulky wallet, you can access any of your cards at any time using your linked device. When paying in person, simply choose the card you want to pay with – or set a default card – and tap-and-go to make a contactless payment.

Meanwhile, when shopping online, you can use your digital wallet to streamline the checkout experience. Not only will your digital wallet pre-fill your personal details, it also allows you to checkout faster without needing to find your card and input your card details. And, as you are technically paying with your card, you still earn rewards on all eligible purchases made online and in person.

What else can a digital wallet offer?

Digital wallet technology is still being developed here in New Zealand. While most big banks offer digital wallet options, some banks still don’t support digital wallets at all. However, this should change over time, and as the technology develops, digital wallet functionality should expand to become even more useful.

As an example, elsewhere in the world, users can legally carry their driving license in their digital wallet, instead of carrying their physical card. Meanwhile on public transport, users can tap-and-go with their digital wallet, making their commute faster and easier.

What about security?

While each digital wallet does things somewhat differently, all have a strong focus on security. Let’s take Apple Pay as an example.

When you make a purchase, Apple Pay uses a device-specific number and a unique transaction code. Your card number is never stored on your device or on Apple servers – and when you pay, your card numbers are never shared by Apple with merchants. Apple Pay also doesn’t keep transaction information that can be tied back to you.

When it comes to confirming purchases, this typically involves using TouchID, FaceID or your passcode, similar to using your card.

Which digital wallets are available in New Zealand?

If you want to link your credit card or debit card to a digital wallet, you need make sure your bank supports the technology. This is how it currently stands with the larger banks in New Zealand, but bear in mind new digital wallets may be added at any time.

Westpac: Westpac now supports Apple Pay for iPhones and Westpac Pay for Android devices. MasterPass by Mastercard is also an option for Westpac cardholders, as described here by the bank:

“MasterPass is a free digital wallet service brought to you by Westpac NZ that is designed to make online shopping safer and easier by storing all of your payment and shipping information in one convenient, central location. With MasterPass, you can shop, click and checkout faster online. It’s like an online vault for storing your card information.”

BNZ: BNZ currently supports Apple Pay and Google Pay.

ANZ: ANZ currently supports Apple Pay and Google Pay.

ASB: ASB currently supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay.

Kiwibank: Kiwibank does not support digital wallet technology, either through external providers or its own service.

The Co-Operative Bank: The Co-Operative Bank is yet to offer digital wallet compatibility.

TSB: TSB is another bank that is yet to support digital wallets.

What’s on offer with each digital wallet option?

Which digital wallet you access will typically depend on the device you want to use it with. Here are the main players currently supported by New Zealand’s banks.

Apple Pay: Compatible with Apple devices such as the iPhone and Apple Watch, Apple Pay is Apple’s impressive addition to the digital wallet world. After setting up Apple Pay and linking your cards, you can use your Apple device to pay in-store via contactless technology. With Apple Pay can also pay securely online and in-app, saving you valuable time.

Google Pay: As Google’s digital wallet solution, Google Pay is designed to work on all compatible Android devices. Using NFC technology, it allows your device to communicate with the payment terminal, while keeping your card information secure. Google Pay can also be used when paying online and in-app.

Garmin Pay: Garmin Pay allows users to pay on the go using their compatible Garmin watch. By adding your compatible cards to your Garmin Pay account, you can use your Garmin watch to pay anywhere contactless payments are accepted, which can come in handy after a run or a visit to the gym, when you don’t have your wallet on you.

Fitbit Pay: Fitbit Pay works in much the same way as Garmin Pay, designed to appeal to those who want to pay for things when out and about, but who want to leave their wallet at home.

Founder - Roland B Bleyer

Roland Bleyer

Founder of Creditcard.co.nz. Roland has extensive knowledge about credit cards in New Zealand. Known as a credit card expert, he has been featured on tv and in various publications.
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