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Can Apple Pay succeed in the UK? Or is it doomed to novelty status?

Can Apple Pay succeed in the UK? Or is it doomed to novelty status?

Apple Pay’s UK launch appears to have been warmly welcomed by iPhone owners.

Complaints to banks not on board from launch are rife on Twitter, with many saying they’d sooner change accounts than wait to use the service.

That’s understandable. The promise of being able to leave your wallet at home and just use your phone has been lingering for the best part of a decade.

And while other mobile payment solutions have been available for some time, such as EE’s Cash On Tap, none have offered the same heightened security as Apple Pay.

ee cash on tap london underground

Touch ID’s fingerprint scanner is what makes Apple Pay so alluring. And therefore, that should mean Apple Pay gets off to a fast start.

However, there are caveats.

For one, most outlets with contactless machines will limit you to spending £20, treating Apple Pay on an iPhone just like a standard contactless card.

When you can use the latter without having to press down on your smartphone’s home button in order to make a purchase, Apple Pay suddenly looks less alluring.

There are changes coming. That limit is set to rise to £30 in September. And new machines which allow higher value transactions are also set to come in over the next few months.

In fact, a string of shops and services are already offering the chance to spend big. These include Apple, Boots, H&M, Pret, Transport for London and London taxis.

touch id iphone 5s

Still, this needs to be far more wide–ranging for Apple Pay to enjoy anything more than novelty status in its first few months. It simply adds friction to low cost transactions at this point.

Where it will really come into its own is when you’re making big-ticket purchases.

Once that becomes standard practice (and with iPhone sales booming, it surely will), the need to take your wallet out will disappear.

Of course, this goes beyond Apple. Samsung and Google will both want Apple Pay to succeed.

Because once it does, their forthcoming mobile payment services, backed up by fingerprint scanners on top-end Android handsets, will also take off, finally bringing the mobile payment revolution into the mainstream.

apple pay iphone 6

For now, Apple Pay is likely to remain niche and novel.

But as new pay terminals come in and more banks get on board, expect to see more than just your average tech fanatic using their iPhone to pay for everything from a new coat to a meal in a big-name chain restaurants.

It will take time, but it’s hard not to see Apple Pay being a success.

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