Apple’s new in-device payment system, Apple Pay, has just launched in the UK, which is only the second country in which Apple has rolled out this technology.
NatWest, Santander, Nationwide Building Society, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank
are some of the first banks to offer Apple Pay in the UK.
The latest Apple devices, including smart phones, tablets and the Apple Watch, include functionality that allows users to make payments in store, or through an app, using their Apple device.
The system identifies users through their fingerprint, to help ensure that in case the device is lost, unauthorised users can’t take it and pay for goods and services using the device. Anyone who loses their phone can also disable it so it cannot be used to make payments.
In-store, users simply swipe the device and confirm the payment by verifying it with their fingerprint on the screen. The same process is used when making a payment through an app, except there’s no need to swipe the device.
Apple Pay was first launched in October 2014 in the US. It now has 375 card-issuing companies in the US, with 35 banks recently signing up with Apple Pay.
Apple Pay’s second operating system will be launched in the autumn in the US and it’s expected more than 1.5 million locations
in the US will accept Apple Pay by the end of the year.
It’s expected the technology will be rolled out in Canada later this year, but so far, there has been no news about when Apple users in Australia will be able to make a payment using a device.
Interestingly, US publication Forbes
says adoption in the UK might be higher initially than it has been in the US. This is because the British contactless payments market is more matured than the US market.
In addition Transport for London – the organisation that manages London’s labyrinthine tube, or underground train, system – is an Apple Pay partner. This should encourage the millions of people that use the tube each week to use Apple Pay on their iPhone when they top up their transport card each week.
One UK bank that has embraced the contactless payments revolution is Barclays, which launched contactless wristbands last year.
It is now about to launch key fobs and also stickers that can be attached to a flat surface such as a mobile phone. Customers with a Visa or MasterCard can use these devices to make payments.
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