Apple pay keeps wallets away: Apple Pay launching in UK in July

Apple’s new payment system, Apple Pay is all set to arrive in the UK this July. This was announced at WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC), 2015, which also witnessed the announcement of iOS9. The UK has embraced contactless payment at a much faster rate compared to other European countries, making it much easier for Apple Pay to become widely adopted.

Apple pay allows people to use their iPhone, iPad or Apple watch as a payment device, linked to their credit or debit card. The feature lets people make payments by waving their iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch over the contactless payment terminal. The near-field communication (NFC) chips embedded in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch means that swift payments for goods and services can be made by tapping the device on a card reader.

Apple also revealed new updates for Apple Pay, including letting people add store credit cards and allowing them to collect loyalty points at retailers.

apple pay

Apple Pay will be available through a dedicated update to iOS, named 8.1.4. It will be the last major update to the platform before the iOS 9 release, coming this fall.

Apple Pay will be accepted by 19 high street stores, and can be used in more than 24 apps by July. Upon launch in the UK, it can be used in establishments including LIDL, Marks and Spencer, Post Office, Liberty, McDonalds, Boots, Costa, Waitrose, Pret A Manger, BP, Subway, Wagamama, Spar, KFC, Nando’s, New Look, Starbuck, Dune, JD Sport.

Most excitingly for Londoners, Apple Pay will also be available to use on TfL services – effectively another alternative to using an Oyster Card or contactless card.

apple pay uk

Initially, Apple Pay will be available in the UK with the following banks: Ulster Bank, Natwest, American Express, Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, Nationwide, HSBC, First Direct. It will later arrive for M&S Bank, Bank of Scotalnd, Halifax, TSB, MBNA and Lloyds Bank.

Barclays is the only major bank not to support Apple Pay. The lender has tweeted to say it is still holding “constructive” with Apple about the payments system.

The bank has invested heavily in its Pingit money transfer system, but this could be quickly undone by the introduction of Apple Pay. Barclays customers took to Twitter to complain – and many threatened to move banks.

– Spadman