Contactless payment system Apple Pay has finally arrived in the UK. It is available in shops supporting Apple Pay and across the London transport network. This is the first time Apple Pay will work anywhere outside US. So are you guys (in UK) ready?
Beginning today, shops across the UK (including Waitrose, Boots and Marks & Spencer) will accept payment through Apple Pay alongside Transport for London (TfL) on its Tube, bus and rail networks. Leading UK mobile apps that will accept Apple Pay include Airbnb, JD Sports, Booking.com, Domino’s, Hailo, Ocado, British Airways, Addison Lee and many others.
According to research firm Kantar Worldpanel, there are currently 2.9 million Apple Pay compatible devices in use in the UK, although it should be recognized that older handsets can be used if paired with the smartwatch. UK has a good contactless payments infrastructure for tap and pay credit and debit cards. Contactless payments were up 255% in 2014, while 58m contactless cards were in circulation already.
Around 250,000 locations will accept Apple Pay in the UK. Apple Pay can be used in the UK through iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus and Apple Watch users. Apple has support from seven of the UK’s most established and successful banks. Apple Pay will also be linked with major credit and debit cards networks in the UK. The customers of Santander, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland are among the first to be able to use their accounts with Apple Pay from the launch while Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland account holders will have to wait until the autumn.
Barclays is the only major bank sitting out Apple Pay and instead launching its own new offering. Being a large bank and having its own payment systems, Barclays did not agree to the terms and conditions of Apple Pay, especially giving out a transaction cut to Apple.
Apple Pay is based on the contactless reader technology which is already popular in the UK and its Touch ID technology. The transaction limit of £20 on contactless reader applies to Apple Pay too. There has been news around that this limit will increase to £30 to £32 next year.
Apple claims privacy, safety and security at the core of its payment technology. Neither any Apple devices nor any Apple servers will store user’s card numbers and bank data. Apple will assign a unique device account number to each user which will be stored in the device. Additionally, every transaction via Apple Pay will be secured with a one-time unique dynamic security code.