Apple Pay is to wave farewell to its US-exclusive roots and head out into the wider world, the Cupertino-based manufacturer has confirmed.
Having been restricted to stateside iDevice owners to date, the NFC-based contactless payment service will be introduced to the UK next month, Apple confirmed during its WWDC 2015 keynote.
Although an exact date of release has yet to be confirmed, the UK Apple Pay launch has been pencilled in for ‘July’.
“With the grand momentum of Apple Pay in the US, we are now excited to confirm that we are bringing Apple Pay to the UK, and it’s coming next month,” Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s VP of Online Stores announced.
She added: “We will launch with eight of the most popular banks with more coming later this month.”
Banks available from day one include HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Natwest, with 70 per cent of UK debit cards to be supported.
A number of UK retailers have already signed up to support Apple Pay payments, including the Post Office, Marks & Spencers, Boots and Waitrose.
“We will have more than 250,000 locations in the UK supporting Apple Pay at launch,” Bailey stated.
Despite much of the infrastructure needed to support the mobile wallet payment service already being in place in the UK, until now Apple has not had the relationships with British-based banks in place to launch the service.
Apple Pay lets you store your bank card detail on a secure chip inside your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch, using the device to make payments in select retails without having to worry about getting your wallet out.
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Although Apple has only just confirmed its UK Apple Pay launch plans, the service has been used across London’s transport system for some time.
“People are already using Apple Pay on the TfL network, even though Apple Pay has yet to launch in the UK,” Shasi Verma, Transport for London’s Director of Customer Experience revealed recently.
He added: “The system is opened up to everything right now.”
TfL will officially support Apple Pay when launched in the UK next month.
Apple Pay is not the only digital wallet service doing the rounds. Earlier this year both Google and Samsung confirmed plans for their own rival services – Google Pay and Samsung Pay.