Nine months after its introduction in the US, Apple has launched its secure contactless payment system across the pond. Many of the biggest banks and retail stores in the UK now support Apple Pay, with more to come later this year.
The ‘mobile wallet’ allows users to buy things on the high street with their phone or watch using the NFC (Near Field Communication) technology found in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch. Customers can securely add their payment details to their device using the Passbook app, which is soon to be rebranded ‘Wallet’ to recognize the increasing prominence of Apple Pay.
To begin with, a handful of UK banks and building societies will be supporting the system including NatWest, Nationwide, RBS and Santander. That leaves some notable omissions, which will mostly be joining the Apple Pay team this Fall.
Unlike the US, the UK already had widespread support for contactless payments prior to Apple Pay’s launch. Many modern debit and credit cards in the UK include the technology for contactless payments, and Apple Pay will work with existing card readers.
According to the Guardian, notable retailers to support Apple Pay include “Waitrose, Co-op, Lidl, Spar, Boots, Marks and Spencer, Post Office, BP, Costa Coffee, Starbucks, LePain Quotidien, Wagamama, Nandos, KFC, Pret A Manger, Subway, McDonald’s, the Trainline, Transport for London and Liberty.”
Much of the infrastructure is already in place – but will that mean quicker adoption from customers, or less interest in a service they’re already broadly familiar with?