iPhone – Apple Wallet, Pay to use digital health insurance cards
Australians will be the first users in the world to have contactless digital health insurance cards built into their Apple Wallet system, the tech giant has announced.
In a move Apple believes all but makes a physical wallet redundant, the US tech company will now offer contactless health insurance cards and policies from major insurers including Medibank, Bupa, NIB and GU Health through Apple Wallet.
HBF will join the system in early August.
The digital cards, which can be added to the Apple Wallet function within iPhones and Apple Watches, will let consumers claim money from their provider at the cash register without carrying a physical card.
To add your health care card, you need your health insurance app, through which you can simply tap to add your card to Apple Wallet.
NAB, which owns the health industry claims and payments service or HICAPS, said in a statement customers could now make a health insurance claim “by simply holding their iPhone or Apple Watch near any HICAPS terminal in Australia – creating a true digital wallet experience”.
“Customers can also pay for gap payments simply and securely using Apple Pay,” the statement read.
Apple Pay internet services vice-president Jennifer Bailey said health insurance firms would make up more than 60 per cent of the market in Australia.
“Australia was already was a very strong market for Apple Pay and contactless but I do think the pandemic has increased that adoption even further,” Ms Bailey said.
Health insurance cards have not yet been added to Samsung or Google digital wallets.
The move comes as Apple works to strengthen its position in Australia’s cashless payments industry.
Apple Pay has more than 100 partners, including every major Australian bank, fintechs and niche payment providers, leading retailers and corporates with co-brand cards as well as buy-now-pay-later prodivers.
Bupa managing director Emily Amos told ETFM the demand for the change was customer-led.
“We know our customers are using iPhone and Apple Watch to buy groceries, tap on to public transport and pay for their morning coffees, so it’s no surprise that they now expect to be able to make their Bupa claims with a quick tap of their device,” she said.
“We’re always looking to enhance our products and services so they are both good for our customers and good for our planet. With Bupa digital membership cards now available in Apple Wallet, we’re pleased to be reducing the amount of paper and plastic used in the claiming process, while also providing a secure way to make a claim and pay.”