iPhone 7 Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Apple has announced that its contactless system, which allows shoppers to make 'tap-and-go payments' at the cashier, will go live in the UAE soon with the support from a number of local banks.

The American tech giant confirmed on Wednesday that Apple Pay is scheduled to roll out in the UAE before the end of the year and will be made available to debit and credit card customers of Emirates NBD, Mashreq, HSBC, RakBank, Standard Chartered and Emirates Islamic.

Apple Pay enables shoppers to user their phone rather than their debit or credit card in store.  All users have to do is tap their iPhone or Apple Watch on a payment machine, and it works for MasterCard and Visa card holders.

“We know our customers in the UAE will love the added convenience and security Apple Pay brings, and we can’t wait for them to start making easier and more private payments soon,” said Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay.

Tapping phones instead of cards onto payment machines is the latest big thing in the cashless world, but unlike in other markets, it has yet to gain traction in the UAE. With the rollout of Apple's payment solution, however, more consumers will be encouraged to use their gadgets when shopping.

“As digitisation picks up in banking, and customers’ demand more convenient and secure solutions for their everyday payment needs, the launch of Apple Pay in the UAE will help encourage usage and acceptance of contactless payments,” said Matthew Colebrook, head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC Middle East and North Africa (Mena) and Turkey.

“HSBC is excited to soon bring to its UAE customers Apple Pay, which is transforming mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay.”

Apple Pay is now available in a number of countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China, Singapore, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong, Russia, New Zealand, Japan, Spain, Ireland, Taiwan and Italy.

It will go live before the end of the year in UAE, along with Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

The following devices can be used in store when making tap and go payments: iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone SE, Apple Watch Series 2, Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch (1st generation).