June 9, 2015
Apple has confirmed that it will launch its Apple Pay service in the UK. The contactless service will be available in 250,000 locations including the London transport network. The much-anticipated move comes nine months after Apple Pay was launched in the US. Apple announced the rollout of the service at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Apple Pay which was launched last year in the US has grown rapidly. In the US, the company has witnessed transactions of billions of dollars through Apple Pay. The company expects that the success of Apple Pay will overshadow the success in the US. NFC adoption in UK is far more compared to the US, which will act as a catalyst for Apple Pay’s success in UK.
The company has already made some strategic alliances with banks, merchants and transport networks. Eight major British banks will support Apple Pay, including HSBC, Santander and Nationwide. Within the next few months, Apple Pay will work with nearly 70% of credit and debit cards in the UK when Halifax, Lloyds Bank and the Bank of Scotland will also start accepting payments processed through it. 250,000 locations will be accepting Apple Pay. A few major merchants who will be accepting Apple Pay are Boots, Costa, KFC, Lidl, M&S, McDonalds, Subway and Starbucks. The service will be supported across Transport for London (TfL) as it already accepts contactless payments and tourists can pay using Apple Pay. TfL issues the world-famous Oyster card and already offers contactless bank card capabilities in conjunction with Cubic Transportation Systems.
Around 42% of the smartphones in the UK run on iOS. Therefore, the launch in UK is expected to see a broader reach. When the service launches in the UK next month, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users can pay simply by tapping their iPhone to an NFC terminal by using Touch ID or opening an Apple Pay-compatible app and using Touch ID at the checkout.
A couple of months back we wrote about Apple Pay International Expansion Drivers and Inhibitors, Newly Surfaced Information. Expect more news on their international expansion.
Other rival payments systems like Android Pay and Samsung Pay will be launched in the second half of 2015. The overseas expansion will also provide Apple with a head start over its rivals. Both Android Pay and Samsung Pay have not yet confirmed any plans with regard to the UK. After launching in the UK, it's expected that Apple Pay will be launched in Canada by this fall; Canada also is ahead in terms of contactless payments.