Apple Pay UK
Apple Pay will launch in the UK in JulyApple

Apple Pay will be coming to the UK in July, letting iPhone and Apple Watch users pay for goods - and transport in London - with a tap.

There's no need to carry cash or a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, as the iOS and Watch app takes care of the entire payment process for you. Using NFC, you just tap the phone or watch on the chip-and-PIN reader, just like with a contactless credit card, to pay. The system also replaces the need for an Oyster card in London, as it works on all buses and Tube trains in the capital.

Apple Pay allows owners of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the latest iPads to store their credit card information on the devices and pay for purchases by tapping their smartphones or tablets. The system uses NFC and payments are secured using the Touch ID fingerprint reader.

Apple Pay will be supported at its July launch by the following UK banks and card issuers:

  • Santander;
  • American Express;
  • Nationwide;
  • HSBC;
  • First Direct;
  • Royal Bank of Scotland;
  • Ulster Bank; and
  • Mastercard.

Banks to add Apple Pay compatibility by the autumn include:

  • M&S Bank;
  • Halifax;
  • TSB;
  • MBNA; and
  • Lloyds Bank.

Apple Pay was first announced back in September 2014, alongside the iPhone 6, and after launching exclusively in the US earlier this year, will finally head to our shores next month.

Payments made with the Watch do not need to be authorised by the wearer, so long as the Watch has not been taken off since the last time it was unlocked; its heart rate monitor knows when you take it off, so from that moment payments cannot be made until you unlock it with a PIN.

Apple Pay is already hugely popular in the US, where many shoppers are yet to receive contactless cards from their banks. A report from earlier this year claimed that $2 out of every $3 spent through a contactless system was with Apple Pay.

Retailers to adopt Apple Pay in the UK include:

  • M&S Simply Food;
  • Post Office;
  • Liberty;
  • McDonalds;
  • Boots;
  • Costa;
  • Waitrose;
  • TFL;
  • Pret;
  • BP;
  • Subway;
  • Wagamama;
  • Spar;
  • KFC;
  • Nando's; and
  • Starbucks.

The system will soon face competition from Google and Samsung, who are both working on their own contactless payment systems for Android and Galaxy smartphones respectively.