A quarter of a million locations will accept Apple Pay payments when it launches in the UK next month.
Apple confirmed the planned UK availability of its contactless iPhone payments service and announced that eight UK banks will support it and 250,000 retail locations will accept it at launch.
Users of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch will be able to pay for goods and services through contactless terminals.
HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide Building Society, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank will be among the first to support Apple pay with other banks to follow, including Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Lloyds Bank and TSB Bank.
Merchants that will accept Apple Pay payments at launch include Boots, BP, Costa Coffee, JD Sports, KFC, LIDL, Marks & Spencer, McDonald’s, Nando’s, New Look, Post Office, Pret A Manger, Starbucks, Wagamama and Waitrose.
Samsung Pay follows Apple's lead
When Apple Pay launched in the US in its first month of availability, the technology made1% of digital payments in the country. By comparison, Google Wallet, which was launched in 2011, accounted for 4% of payments in its first month, according to the ITG Mobile Payments report.
Other suppliers are developing their own services following the success of Apple Pay in the US. Google is developing Android Pay and Samsung Pay has been announced.
Read more about Apple Pay
“Apple Pay has quickly become a big part of millions of users’ everyday shopping routines, providing a simpler, faster and more secure way to pay,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice-president of internet software and services. “We’re thrilled to bring Apple Pay to the UK with support at launch from the most popular banks, an incredible roster of merchants and many of our users’ favourite apps.”
Banks and businesses cannot afford to ignore the demands of an increasingly digital customer base. Ross McEwan, CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “As part of our goal to be number one, we are absolutely focused on giving our customers the best and most innovative experience possible.”
Marc Bolland, CEO of Marks & Spencer “Our early introduction of Apple Pay will provide them with a seamless and secure way of checking out,” said.
Despite the fanfare, Apple Pay is not without its teething problems. According to a report in April 2015, the app had been adopted by 11% of all credit card-owning households and 66% of iPhone 6 users in the US since its launch, but two-thirds of users reported problems at checkout.
A security supplier recently revealed a security weakness in the technology. A mock social engineering attack was created in a lab by security supplier Wandera, which revealed the method that enables hackers to create a fake page that pops up on a user’s phone requesting details, including the security code.