Apple Pay UK

Apple Pay officially launches in the UK

Apple Pay has officially launched in the UK. Apple Pay will allow iPhone users to “tap-and-pay” with their smartphones and Apple Watch for the first time, marking the first time the software will be available outside the US.

How does Apple Pay work?

The new contactless payment system works uses the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus inbuilt fingerprint scanner and near-field communication (NFC) chips to make payments by pressing your finger to the home button and holding the handset near a card reader, as you would a contactless debit card. The Passbook app will automatically open, and your phone will vibrate and beep to let you know it’s been received.

When paying with an Apple Watch, double tapping the side button triggers your stored cards. Holding the watch up to the contactless reader makes the payment, and, like on iPhone, it will vibrate and beep to confirm it’s gone through.

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You can cycle through the available credit and debit cards at checkout on the smartphone or Watch display. Credit, debit and loyalty cards can all be kept within the iPhone’s preinstalled passbook app.

Cards can be added by taking a photograph. but due to the strict security measures Apple has put in place, Apple Watch owners will have to enter their card details separately within the Apple Watch app.

Banks that support Apple Pay from launch:

Banks to support Apple Pay from “Autumn”:

  • Bank of Scotland
  • Coutts
  • Halifax
  • Lloyds
  • M&S Bank
  • MBNA
  • TSB

Transaction Limitations For Apple Pay
Upon launch most Apple Pay transactions will be limited to £20 or less. If your purchase is greater than £20 you’ll need to use your chip and pin card. This isn’t an Apple-imposed limitation. The £20 limit is hardcoded into contactless payment terminals. However, come September these contactless payment terminals will raise their transaction limits to £30.

Some retailers will allow you to make higher value purchases because they’ve installed newer hardware that supports high value purchases if your contactless authentication method is biometric (as the Touch ID authentication for Apple Pay is).

Customers will be able to use Apple Pay in 250,000 shops, including these well-known chains:

  • Lidl
  • M&S
  • Post Office
  • Liberty
  • McDonalds
  • Boots
  • Costa
  • Waitrose
  • Pret
  • BP
  • Subway
  • Wagamama
  • Spar
  • KFC
  • Nando’s
  • New Look
  • Starbucks
  • Dune
  • JD Sports

Is it safe?
Apple is keen to point out how your card numbers are not stored on the device you’re using for Apple Pay, nor on their servers. Whilst your most recent purchases are listed in Passbook, an on-going record of your transactions is not maintained.

When a card is added, a unique Device Account Number is created and encrypted. This number is stored in a chip within your device called the secure Element. When you go to make a transaction, the Device Account Number is matched with a dynamic security code unique to that specific payment, which is then processed.

In the event of your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch being lost or stolen, you can suspend Apple Pay remotely or wipe it fully using Find My iPhone.

Due to the fact that users are using their Visa cards within Apple Pay, they will be covered by all the same benefits they currently enjoy with their debit and credit cards, including fraud protection for unauthorised purchases and widespread international acceptance.