About two weeks ago, Apple rolled out the iOS 13.6 update to users which carries several new features including a CarKey that allows them to unlock and start selected cars with just their iPhone. Interesting enough, it also appears that the Apple Pay option has been enabled for Malaysian users through the same update.
However, this does not mean that you can utilise the NFC-based payment system with your Malaysian credit or debit card though. As shown in the screenshot below, you would encounter an error when you try to add cards that are issued by Malaysian banks which is not surprising since Malaysia is not listed as one of the official markets for Apple Pay.
Nevertheless, is this a sign that Apple Pay is finally going to be available in Malaysia? Well, it is hard to say given how our financial industry is shrouded in secrecy and multiple layers of regulations.
Truth to be told, it is not a secret that Apple is working to enable its NFC-based payment system in our market. This is something that the company’s representatives have told us numerous times over the years whenever the question regarding Apple Pay’s availability in Malaysia pops up.
But until today, the “work in progress” status for Apple Pay in Malaysia still has not changed. To be fair though, this also applies to Fitbit Pay which apparently has received approval from Malaysian authorities and supposed to be available earlier this year but unfortunately is still missing in action.
As contactless payment system has been adopted widely throughout Malaysia, there should not be any problem for our market to support Apple Pay when it comes to infrastructure. But I don’t think we should get too excited just about Apple Pay official support in Malaysia until it is announced by Apple itself or any of our local banks.