When Apple Pay launched in the US last  year, we blogged about what the implications will be for consumers and retailers when it makes it way across the Atlantic.

Today, Apple Pay has finally arrived in the UK, compatible with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. It works with any card reader that currently takes contactless payments, and is supported by many major UK banks (with more to be added this autumn.)

How to set it up

  • Make sure the latest iOS is installed; this should be iOS 8.4
  • Go to the ‘Passbook’ app – this is one of your default apps.
  • Follow the instructions on screen to add your card(s). You are able to use your camera to automatically fill in your card's details (this image will not be stored.) Currently not all UK banks are supporting Apple pay, so your phone will alert you if yours will not be accepted. 

How to Pay

At first glance, there’s little difference between contactless and Apple payments: you hold your device up to the card reader and you can pay instantly for transactions up to £20. Not having to enter your chip and pin saves time and reduces the risk of leaving your card inside the reader.

However, contactless comes with the added risk of somebody pinching your cards and going around racking up a huge bill in £20 increments. Apple Pay requires you to hold your thumb/finger over the home button to register your finger prints, ensuring that only you can make these payments.

Because of this added safety factor, Apple has plans to support larger payments, although the time scale for this being implemented has not yet been announced.

What if I have multiple cards?

You can store multiple card details in Passbook, with one set as your default payment method. However, you may want to switch to a different card to pay. To do this, hold your device over the card reader without touching the Home button. The device will wake up and show a card; switch to another by tapping the screen and complete the payment as normal with your fingerprint.

Paying online

With eCommerce on mobile devices – especially tablets – swiftly on the rise, Apple Pay has also been added to online purchases. The list of compatible websites includes many airlines, take-away finders such as Just Eat, high street fashion retailers and groceries/home stores. This operates in a similar way to PayPal on Samsung phones: using a fingerprint to verify payments and bypass entering card details.


We've already tested Apple Pay buying breakfast this morning - all went smoothly! Will you be trying it out soon too?