Apple Pay is coming to the UK in July, enabling millions of Apple device owners to use the tech giant’s mobile payments service.
So far, MasterCard, Visa, eight UK banks and other payment players like First Data have announced support for Apple Pay. MasterCard says that for consumers and merchants alike, every purchase made with a MasterCard using an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch will offer the security, benefits and guarantees of any MasterCard transaction.
In shops, consumers can pay contactlessly by holding their iPhone near a contactless terminal and authenticating with Touch ID. For purchases within an app, consumers touch to pay and authenticate with their fingerprint or passcode without having to enter their card number or leave the app.
MasterCard and Visa are working with several banks, including HSBC, MBNA, RBS/Natwest and Santander to enable users of an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch to use their MasterCard credit, debit or prepaid cards directly through Apple Pay.
Mark Barnett, president of MasterCard UK & Ireland, said: “MasterCard was first in the world to offer contactless and mobile payment solutions, and Britons have rapidly adopted tap and pay behaviour. In the UK, we make more than 10 contactless payments every second, and on Transport for London alone, commuters tap to pay over one million times a day. With this clear shift in payment preference so strongly embedded, we are excited that MasterCard cardholders will soon be able to make payments from some of their Apple devices.”
Jeremy Nicholds, executive director of Mobile at Visa Europe, commented: “Contactless payments are already widely embraced by millions of Visa cardholders across the country every day, so adding the simplicity and convenience of Apple Pay will catapult mobile payments into the mainstream.”
UK public transport agency Transport for London (TfL) has also announced support for Apple Pay. Users of public transport in London will be able to pay for journeys with a tap of their handsets. In total, around 250,000 locations across the country will accept Apple Pay, which will cover 70% of issued credit and debit cards.
Meanwhile, Apple’s Passbook feature has been rebranded as Wallet and has been integrated with Apple Pay. Customers can now add store and reward cards to Apple Pay, which will recognise which is appropriate for use instore.