Apple Pay lands in UK this July; Boasts of a solid lineup of participating brands and bank partners

By MoneyTimes

Jul 07, 2015 09:48 AM EDT

We've seen the teaser at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) a few weeks back and now Apple Pay is set to launch in the UK on July 14. Apple Pay has confirmed 22 local partners, including Marks and Spencer, Starbucks, Dune London, Waitrose, the Post Office, and Transport for London (TfL). The partnership with TfL is especially anticipated to provide utmost convenience as it covers the Tube and an array of bus, trains, and tram lines. It also works with over 20 apps, including British Airways,, Domino's, and Zara.

To ensure that as many consumers as possible are accommodated, Apple Pay has partnered with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. It has also been supported by a handful of banks such as HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, First Direct, Nationwide, and Ulster Bank, with more to join later this year.

Apple's New Payment System Takes a Step Forward

Apple Pay is a contactless mobile payment system that utilizes NFC (Near Field Communication) and requires an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or Apple Watch. For the iPhones, payment is rendered by holding the device near the reader. On the other hand, for Apple Watch, the side button needs to be double clicked until Apple Pay is displayed and the icon tapped to confirm the payment. iPads may also be used, but only for paying within apps. Currently, transactions are limited to £20, but the amount is set to increase in future updates.

To start using Apple Pay, the device must be set up through Passbook, where the credit or debit card details must be keyed in. Apple Pay does not store transaction information and, in case the device is found missing, Find My iPhone can be used to mark it as lost and stop anyone from using it for getting any merchandise.

Entering the UK Market

Within three days since its US launch, Apple Pay has recorded a million activations, with more showing interest, going as far as saying that they are willing to switch banks in order to use it. However, Alphr reveals that Apple Pay users are not happy with the service.

Citing a tracking study from Phoenix, a market research firm, Alphr shares that 47% of 3,000 households claimed that they had problems with Apple Pay. Specifically, they have visited listed shops, only to be disappointed from being told that the supposed partner brands do not accept Apple Pay.

Alphr considers this to be a significant issue once the system penetrates the more complex UK market. Nonetheless, the team behind it still trusts that Apple Play will have a strong showing once it reaches British shores.

Macworld also believes that Apple Pay will continue its expansion in Canada and, soon after, China as deals for bringing the payment system to these countries has been established.

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