Apple Pay contactless iPhone payments hits UK high streets

After months of anticipation Apple Pay launches in the UK – enabling iPhone users to make payments by scanning their phones over a contactless reader

Apple Pay is now available in the UK about 8 months after its successful US debut.

UK users of Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus can now make contactless payments using their mobile phone. The payments app allows users to make payments by scanning their iPhones over contactless readers.

Apple Pay made a flying start in the US. In its first month of availability the technology made 1% of digital payments in the country.

Research from Forrester recently said it expects faster adoption in the UK than in the US – but doesn't expect it to grow quickly.

Forrester revealed 27% of UK consumers with iPhones would trust Apple to provide a mobile digital wallet. But 43% trust PayPal and 40% banks with credit card networks (40%) and Amazon (32%) are also more trusted.

Thomas Husson, an analyst at Forrester, said: "Apple still has to demonstrate the added value it will bring – better experience, faster checkout, incremental revenues – to merchants and brands.”

"Also, Apple needs to create trust among UK consumers. They managed to do so in the US and, no doubt, trust will increase with the backing of banks."

Competition joins payments fray

Since the launch of Apple Pay technology, companies including Samsung and Google have announced plans to launch payments services.

In March 2015 Samsung said it will make its payment service available in the US in summer 2015 and Google said it is working with US telcos to boost its mobile wallet.

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Sarah Kellett, associate director, consumer facing industries at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, said the launch of Apple Pay is another step towards the mobile wallet and contactless agenda. “We expect this service will see significant pick up amongst iPhone users," said Kellett.

"Until contactless becomes more widely available however – on multiple operating systems and devices – the launch of Apple Pay is unlikely to revolutionise the retail payment landscape.

“Having said that, retailers still need to be aware of new payment services such as Apple Pay, as these services are allowing customers to make payments from any location at any time, just by using their mobile device.”



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