Apple Pay Snags Barclays for Today’s UK Launch

Apple PayApple Pay launched in Britain today, letting Brits use their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 plus to make in-store payments with over 250,000 merchants.

At the moment, there’s a limit to the value of payments that can be made; they’re capped at £20. But that’s set to go up to £30 starting in September. Little else differentiates the function of the service as compared to its use in the US.

One thing that is notable about the service’s UK launch is the country’s familiarity with NFC technology allowing contactless payment; most major UK banks have issued NFC cards, for example. This stands in stark contrast to the situation in the US, where NFC technology is not widespread. With this in mind, it could be interesting to see if consumer adoption of the service is much more rapid than it has been in the States.

Also notable is the fact that just before launching the service Apple finally managed to get Barclays onboard. Barclays had been the last major financial institution holding out, perhaps because it has invested so much in its own mPayment offerings; but evidently Apple made the bank an offer it couldn’t refuse. With that situation resolved, there is no serious impediment to the service in the UK, which means that its rollout should provide a fairly clear indication of consumer appetites for this kind of service – which could be useful for competitors like Samsung Pay and Android Pay as preparations are made for their launches.

Source: The Guardian