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Apple Pay in the UK: All you need to know

Apple Pay is finally launching in the UK in July, but what is Apple Pay, how do you use it and which retailers will support it? Here’s all you need to know.

Apple Pay launched in the US back in October and according to Apple now accounts for $2 of every $3 spent in the country using contactless payment. But what does the launch of Apple Pay in the UK mean for us Brits?

What is Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a means of paying for goods and services, both online and in stores, using just an iPhone or Apple Watch.

Apple Pay uses NFC technology, which allows your device to communicate with a contactless payment terminal – similar to tapping in and out of a station with an Oyster Card. Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner is used to ensure that the transaction is secure.

When will Apple Pay launch in the UK?

Apple Pay is slated to launch in July.

Which banks will support Apple Pay?

Your bank has to support Apple Pay for you to use it – here’s a list of all banks that will support it from launch.

Is Apple Pay secure?

From day one Apple has stressed that the system is extremely secure. It uses a system known in the industry as “tokenisation”, which replaces your card details with a unique device ID. Your deets are stored on a secure server and not on your phone, which makes them harder to steal.

However, there have been a few issues since Apple Pay’s launch in the US, including instances of fraud and stolen card details being used by nefarious parties. And while Apple has moved quickly to close off security holes in its own software, the company has also urged banks and financial institutions to step up and do their part too.

That said, no system is 100 per cent secure. There are a few technologically advanced ways in which thieves could, if they were really, really committed, steal and use your details – but then, there are plenty of ways for criminals to steal your identity or your debit card PIN too. On the whole, the system is safer than most conventional methods of card payment, so don’t be put off by worries of security.

How do I use Apple Pay?

Using Apple Pay in a UK store will be nice and simple.

All you need to do is hold your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus near the payment terminal when it’s time to pay. After a second your phone will spring to life with your default debit card details front and centre, so just choose the card you wish to use. To prove your identity, pop your digit on the Touch ID sensor when asked and Robert’s your father’s brother.

If you’re using an Apple Watch it’s even easier. Just double-tap your Watch’s side button then turn your wrist to face the contactless payment terminal. After a second you’ll hear a beep and you’re all done.

Apple Pay will also let you pay for things quickly and easily within certain apps on your device. Wherever it’s accepted you’ll see an Apple Pay icon within the app. Simply hit it, then confirm your identity with Touch ID and you’re away.

Are there any limits to what I can buy with Apple Pay?

Unless the shop you’re visiting has a specially set-up contactless reader, there will be a £20 limit on what you can buy using the tech. If you’re paying for things which cost more you’ll likely be expected to present the card, but that limit is due to rise to £30 in September.

That said, the point of Apple Pay was to end people’s reliance on cash and cards, which it obviously won’t do just yet. Give it time though, and maybe in a few years we’ll ditch our wallets and purses for good.

How will I know where I can use Apple Pay?

Stores which take Apple Pay will advertise the fact with logos at checkout, so you’ll know when to whip your iPhone out rather than your wallet. Straight out of the traps you can expect the likes of McDonalds, Nando’s, Subway, Waitrose, Starbucks and Boots to accept the system, and plenty more well-known stores too.

You will also be able to use Apple Pay on the London Underground.

Check here for a list of businesses and stores that will accept Apple Pay on launch in the UK.

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