Apple Pay launched in the UK on 14 July 2015. In this article we answer all the other questions UK readers are asking about Apple Pay and its UK launch: how Apple Pay works; how to set up and use Apple Pay; which UK shops and retailers support the Apple Pay service; Apple Pay security; and likely launch dates for Apple Pay in other European countries.
Update 13 June: Apple has announced that Apple Pay is coming to the Mac withMac OS Sierra this Autumn. You’ll need to use the fingerprint sensor on your iPhone to authenticate the payment. Find out more about Apple’s WWDC 2016 announcements by clicking here. More to follow.
We’re also very interested in when each UK bank, building society and credit card will support Apple Pay. Until now the biggest mystery has been Barclays, the last major UK bank to adopt the Apple Pay service – but there’s good news on that front in our dedicated section When will Barclays get Apple Pay?
If you’ve got any more questions about the Apple Pay service or its launch here in the UK, let us know on Twitter or post them to the comments below. And don’t forget to answer our poll: Are you going to sign up for Apple Pay?
For Macworld’s verdict on the service, read our Apple Pay review.
Also read: Apple rumours and predictions for 2016
Main sections in this article:
- Apple Pay launch details
- UK banks & credit cards that support Apple Pay (updated, 5 April 2016, with the news that Barclays has launched Apple Pay support!)
- UK shops that support Apple Pay
- Apps that work with Apple Pay
- How to set up and use Apple Pay
- Apple Pay security, privacy and fraud
- Which Apple devices support Apple Pay?
- Alternatives to Apple Pay
Apple Pay UK launch: Apple Pay UK launch details
Apple Pay officially launched in the UK on 14 July 2015. A first tier of UK banks offered Apple Pay support immediately (including NatWest, Santander and Nationwide), but a second wave will have to wait until later in the year.
Apple Pay’s UK launch came roughly nine months after the US launch of Apple Pay on 20 October 2014, as part of the iOS 8.1 update. Apple Pay saw 1 million activations in its first three days, according to Apple.
The service also launched in France in July 2016, nearly exactly a year after its UK introduction. This took the total number of countries enjoying Apple Pay to eight. Much like other roll-outs, it won’t be available with every major bank, highlighting the same consumer frustration attached to previous launches.
We’re not sure how quickly retailers will adapt to the service. The experiences of our colleagues at Macworld US suggests that it will take a few weeks for the training to kick in, and that the early days will see more than a few shop assistants (and iPhone owners) struggling to cope with the new technolog
Apple Pay launch date: When will Apple Pay launch around the rest of the world?
As a UK-based site, we were most interested in Apple Pay’s British launch. But we do have readers hailing from other nations, many of whom are keen to know when they’ll be able to use Apple Pay.
Canada & Australia
Apple Pay launched in the US first of all; here in the UK we were second to join the party. The service has since launched in Canada, and will launch in Australia on Thursday 26th November 2015. There is one caveat: in both Canada and Australia Apple Pay is available only for American Express customers.
Canada has long been ruymoured as an imminent Apple Pay launch venue. Back in April it was reported that Apple Pay was set for a Canadian rollout in autumn 2015, with the Cupertino company in talks with six Canadian banks.
My colleague Caitlin McGarry (writing from the US) reported that “Apple picked Canada as its test case for expansion for two main reasons: iPhones are incredibly popular up north and Canadian merchants have already moved to Near-Field Communication-equipped payment terminals, which Apple Pay requires.”
A careless tweet from a Belgian bank recently suggested that, against expectations, that country might be the next part of Europe to start accepting Apple Pay.
KBC responded to an individual query by stating, quite matter-of-factly, that “this will be possible as of this summer. Have a nice day.” We wish other tech rumours could be dealt with in this sort of way.