Apple may not have officially announced it, but various leaks and accidental tweets did confirm that Apple Pay will be launching in the United Kingdom on July 14th. Now, as scheduled, Apple’s NFC based mobile payment service is live in the country.
The service is available for use in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It will be available across all retail stores that have updated their Point of Sale terminals to accept NFC based payments. However, only iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch owners will be able to take advantage of Apple Pay in stores where it is offered.
For now, more than 250,000 different retail shops across the country will support Apple Pay. This includes the likes of Waitrose, Boots, KFC, Marks & Spencer and London’s Tubeservices. A list of supported retailers and locations in the U.K. can be found on Apple’s website. The banks that will be supported by Apple Pay at launch include Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, HSBC, First Direct, Ulster Bank, and more. Barclays — one of the largest banks in the country — does not support Apple Pay yet, but it is expected to add support for the service in the future.
Apple Pay, however, will be crippled in the U.K. for now with a cap of £20 per transaction. This is set to increase to £30 in September this year. While a transaction of higher amount will be possible, it would require retailers to upgrade their Point of Sale terminals, which not many are interested in doing as it will require a heavy investment from them.
Are you excited about the launch of Apple Pay in the U.K.? Did you try using the service to pay at any of the supported retailers? If yes, how was your experience like?