Everything you need to know about Apple Pay in the UK

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In just under a week’s time Apple Pay, the popular mobile payment and digital wallet service, is looking likely to finally touch down in the UK. The service was introduced by Apple at the September 2014 keynote speech in which we saw the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ unveiling. At the time however, the service was only available to those in the US.

What is Apple Pay?

For those that missed the unveiling last September and have only just heard of ‘Apple Pay’ let’s just make you more familiar with what the service does and how it can work for you.

Apple Pay essentially saves you having to carry your wallet with you, and allows you to make payments for items using an Apple gadget such as an iPhone 6, an Apple Watch or even on your iPads.

The mechanism behind it is really simple; the service just replaces the magnetic strip found on the back of your cards, and then digitises it for use on your phone. It then uses NFC technology with a point of sale system to make that transaction.

You should be aware that you can only use Apple Pay if your bank supports it as well, which shouldn’t be too much of an issue in the UK as most major banks have already jumped on board with the service.

Who is Coming on Board?

As we said above, most of the major banks are jumping on this new exciting opportunity, apart from Halifax who has stated that they will be joining the service later in the year (but they are guaranteed to be coming on board).

At the present time the likes of Natwest, Bank of Soctland, HSBC, Nationwide, Santander, First Direct and Ulster Bank are just some of the bigger names that will be part of Apple Pay.

Also, you have your credit card providers such as American Express (launch partner) and M&S Bank who are set to be going live when the roll-out of Apple Pay comes to the shores of the UK on 14th July. With MBNA and Lloyds also confirming a later date in 2015 where they will be part of the service.

So what do company owners think to Apple Pay and the future of digital payments that can be made off your phone? Andreas Pouros, COO and co-founder at Greenlight went onto state that he:

believes that the mobile barrier must be removed entirely if payments are to become truly contactless. He thinks implanted microchips offer a more elegant solution, but remain too ‘sci-fi’ for most people.

What Kind of Impact Will Apple Pay Have?

For a start imagine a world where we didn’t need credit cards or debit cards and cut down on fraudulent transactions because of that? Instantly the banks are going to be saving mega money just from these couple of ideas. However, the impact does go much further in the way the finance industry is run.

At the end of the day we all have our phones with us, at all times, so if we can digitise our wallets and use them on our phones it replaces the fact that people have to carry bulk wallets or purses around with them. Again, less chance of you losing your wallet or purse, or it getting it stolen.

As a side note, you can also turn Apple Pay off whenever you want from logging in using your Apple ID on the Apple site.

Does Apple Pay Work on all iPhones?

The last point I wanted to make in regards to Apple Pay is that you do need an updated iPhone, anything above the iPhone 5 will be able to support Apple Pay so if you are carrying around a 4S, 4, 3GS, 3G etc then you may want to take this time to upgrade to a newer model of iPhone.