Apple Pay Now Available in South Korea

Apple today launched its popular payment system, Apple Pay, in South Korea, allowing users in the country to make contactless payments using their iPhone or Apple Watch (via MacRumors).

With Apple Pay, users can add credit and debit cards to their iPhone or Apple Watch and use the device to make purchases at stores that have contactless payment options. What’s more, Apple Pay can also be used to make payments online and within apps on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Apple Pay’s South Korean launch has been years in the making. The company has been trying to register itself as an electronic financial business operator in South Korea since 2017, but its application was held up by regulatory probes into whether Apple Pay complied with local laws.

Last year, Apple’s South Korean offices were raided by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), the country’s antitrust regulator, over allegations that the company was overcharging developers on the App Store. Apple didn’t receive approval to launch Apple Pay in South Korea until last month.

At launch, Apple Pay only works with Hyundai Cards in South Korea. While no other South Korean credit card companies are currently supporting Apple Pay, more will likely be added in the future. “Domestic-only cards can only be added in the card issuer’s app,” notes Apple.

South Korea’s adoption of NFC terminals, which are used to process contactless payments, is also limited at this time.

While significantly more South Korean retailers support contactless payments today than when Apple first started trying to launch Apple Pay in the country, local publication The Korea Times said the service will face “significant challenges” in South Korea due to the limited number of NFC terminals.

Last year, Apple also announced “Apple Pay Later,” a “buy now, pay later” service that extends the functionality of Apple Pay and is expected to debut sometime this year.