Apple Pay will launch here in the UK in July. The announcement was made at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in California and comes a day after reports claimed UK iPhone users would gain access to the service within two months.
At launch, Apple Pay will work in 250,000 shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. MasterCard, Visa and American Express are all on board, while support also comes from eight banks at launch: first direct, HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank.
Apple says that by the autumn other banks, including Bank of Scotland, Coutts, Halifax, Lloyds, MBNA, M&S and TSB, will also offer access to its mobile payment service.
Apple Pay works much like a contactless credit or debit card, but with additional security thanks to the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Simply register your card with Apple Pay, hold your phone over a pay terminal and ensure your finger presses down on Touch ID to make a transaction.
Apple has been at pains to stress that it does not store credit card numbers on a device or its servers, rather it creates a Device Account Number for each device, with a secure code created for each transaction.
As well as working in shops as wide–ranging as Lidl, New Look and Pret, Apple Pay will also work in–app, meaning users can make purchases via Touch ID, rather than having to upload payment details each time. Apps working with Apple Pay at launch include Addison Lee, Hailo, thetrainline.com and Top 10.
Only the latest iPhone models, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, work with Apple Pay. New models, due later this year, are also set to play nice with the service.