9th June 2015
From July Apple Pay™ will be available in the UK allowing shoppers to make contactless payments with their iPhone or Apple Watch.
At launch, more than 250,000 locations will accept Apple Pay, with support from eight of the UK’s banks, across all of the major credit and debit card networks.
However the service can only be used by owners of new Apple devices, such as the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch.
“Apple Pay has quickly become a big part of millions of users’ everyday shopping routines, providing a simpler, faster and more secure way to pay,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re thrilled to bring Apple Pay to the UK with support at launch from the most popular banks, an incredible roster of merchants and many of our users’ favorite apps.”
Users will be able to pay by holding their phone near a contactless reader while keeping a finger on their phone’s Touch ID. With Apple Watch™ users can double click the side button and hold the face up to the contactless reader to make a purchase.
Apple Pay will support UK credit and debit cards from American Express, MasterCard and Visa Europe, issued by many of the UK’s banks, including first direct, HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide Building Society, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank. Other major issuing banks, including Lloyds, are expected to follow later this year.
Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com believes Apple Pay could be a “game changer”. He said: “Apple has the brand power to bring the ethereal concept of a mobile wallet into the mainstream. The support of some of the UK’s best-known retailers, from Marks & Spencer to the Post Office, doesn’t hurt either.
“Much like iTunes revolutionised music, Apple Pay could become the de facto standard in payments, and not just for small transactions. Sophisticated security features – fingerprints to authorise payments and encrypted ID numbers instead of credit and debit card details – should alleviate fears that paying by mobile isn’t secure.”