Apple Pay is here. The mobile payments solution for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been available in the US since last October, but had not been expected to land on these shores until the end of the year.
However, with the service going live in Blighty today, you’ll now be able to pay for stuff in store with your phone and in–app using Touch ID.
So what's new about it? Which banks are in from the start? Read on and we’ll tell you five things you need to know about Apple Pay in the UK.
1 It’s live now. But only on the newest Apple kit
Apple Pay is available to use in participating outlets right now. But only if you've got an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch.
You'll need to set it up via Passbook. But then you're good to go.
As for how well it works and how stores are coping with it, well that's for you to tell us.
Give us a heads-up and share your experiences in the comments section below.
2 There are eight banks at launch
First direct, HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank are all on board for launch.
MasterCard, Visa and American Express have also teamed up with Apple, meaning the biggest card suppliers are all backing Apple Pay from the get go.
Apple says that other banks, including Bank of Scotland, Coutts, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, MBNA, M&S Bank and TSB will join the mobile payments party in autumn. It is yet to specify when.
3 Quarter of a million outlets on board
250,000 outlets are accepting Apple Pay at launch. That includes all 39 Apple stores here, as well as big name shops such as Lidl, Waitrose, New Look, Pret, Starbucks and the Post Office.
For Londoners, the best news is that Transport for London is supporting Apple Pay too, so you can use your phone as an Oyster card.
With contactless cards already supported on the Tube and buses, this is set to finally bring mobile transport payments to the masses.
4 In–app support
Apple Pay isn’t just about stumping up for your lunch with your mobile. In–app support is just as big a deal and means you’ll no longer need to upload credit or debit card information to pay for goods.
Big name apps have been brought into the fold, including the likes of thetrainline.com, thoroughly ace hotel–booking service Top 10, Airbnb, Hailo, Domino’s, Easyjet and Stubhub. Just use Touch ID to authorise payments when prompted.
5 Security at the forefront
Apple has been at pains to stress the secure aspect of Apple Pay. It does not store credit or debit card information on devices or its servers.
Instead, it creates what’s called a Device Account Number. This is stashed deep in the Secure Element of your iPhone with each transaction authorised using a one off dynamic security code.
This should assuage the fears of those who don’t like using contactless cards but are open to the idea of their phone doubling up as their wallet.