No it’s not April 1. Also no sign of hell freezing over, but if you’re a Commonwealth Bank customer with an iPhone – Merry Christmas!

Let me put this simply: Commonwealth Bank is launching Apple Pay – in January.


Let’s look back on this for a second.

Apple announced Apple Pay in September 2014, the US was in fanfare because this was a revolution – tap and go? They’re a bit behind the times. In Australia Tap and Go is available in something like 95% of all stores.

Anyway, fast forward November 2015 and we got American Express and Apple Pay, the first time I used it I was hooked.

Sadly, the banks dragged their heels. ANZ came to the party in April 2016, and while many many smaller banks have joined since, the other “Big Three” have been absent.

In fact, NAB, Westpac and Commonwealth took Apple to the ACCC to apply to negotiate as a cartel – as a group – to get a better deal.

The ACCC knocked them back, and customers looked set to perhaps never get Apple Pay.

Seems like the tide has turned at the Commonwealth Bank, today announcing that as part of “our commitment to becoming a better, simpler bank and providing the best digital banking experience for our customers, Commonwealth Bank is pleased to confirm that Apple Pay will be available to CBA and Bankwest customers in January 2019.”

Yep, It’s coming.

Angus Sullivan from the Commonwealth said “We recently wrote to our customers asking them what the bank could do differently and we received lots of excellent suggestions.

“One of the things we heard repeatedly from our customers is that they want Apple Pay and we’re delighted to be making it available in January 2019.

“We are committed to making changes that benefit our customers and simplify our business. We will continue to look for more opportunities to innovate and listen, to ensure our customers get the best experience when they bank with us. Responding to customer demand for Apple Pay underscores our commitment to becoming a better, simpler bank.

“Launching Apple Pay, alongside our number one rated CommBank app, will ensure our customers have the very best mobile banking experience,” said Mr Sullivan.

Of course, Apple is pretty keen too… Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services said, “Apple Pay is the number one mobile contactless payment service worldwide and we are thrilled Commonwealth Bank customers will soon be able to benefit from a convenient and secure way to pay using the Apple devices they love or within their favourite apps or on the web.”

They would be too, Apple sayApplePay is used more than any other mobile payments service globally. Apparently 90% of all mobile contactless payments are done using Apple Pay – that’s insane, just amazing. Kinda strange knowing that the it’s again taken this long for the Commonwealth to act.

The customer feedback online and on social media has been consistent and harsh. It seems it took a Banking Royal Commission to make the bank realise they have to listen to their customers if they want to really make them happy.

Regardless of all that, well done Commonwealth, this is huge. No word on the launch date, but – get your cards and Apple Wallet ready come January. Expect it to be later in the month not earlier.