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Apple Pay Now Available in the U.K.

Image: Via Apple Image: Via Apple
Image: Via Apple Image: Via Apple

Apple users in the U.K. need not fret because as of Tuesday, Apple Pay was launched for its users.

Until now, this feature had only been launched in the U.S. since October 2014.

The anticipation has been building since a tweet was accidentally released by HSBC UK saying that July 14 would be the official launch date. The tweet was taken down soon after, but not before word spread.

As of now, there are seven banks that participate in Apple Pay: American Express, MBNA, Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank.

A spokesperson from Barclay spoke with Business Insider saying,

“We are really excited about the launch of Apple Pay and can confirm that we will bring Barclay’s debit cards and Barclaycard credit cards to Apple Pay in the future.”

This feature is still only available for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both in stores and online. The Apple Watch is compatible with the payment method in stores only and the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 only have this feature available online.

To set up, go into the Passbook app, and from there, you can enter your credit card information. Major credit cards being accepted as of now are Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

If the prospect of your phone holding so much personal information about you is daunting, Apple has some reassuring words.

“With Apple Pay, instead of using your actual credit and debit card numbers when you add your card, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in Secure Element, a dedicated chip in iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.”

This means that the retailer never actually gets any of your credit card information, and if the system was to ever be hacked, there would be no chance of your cards being compromised.

Using Apple Pay will require you to set up the touch ID feature on your phone. Unlike when you’re making a purchase in the app or music store, Apple Pay requires a thumb print identification as opposed to a password.

Although not all of the larger U.K. companies seem to be eager to participate in Apple Pay as of now, there are still over 250 thousand companies that will take Apple Pay. Food chains such as Starbucks and McDonald’s, drugstores like Boots and gas companies like BP are all interested.

Other companies are offering Apple with in app purchases such as Topshop, Etsy and Zara.

Before users get too excited, Apple Insider has an important piece of information from a report that users should keep in mind.

“Apple Pay Vice President Jennifer Bailey confirmed current point of sale terminal software is capable of processing low cost transactions without verification, though purchases above 20 pounds (31 US dollars) will need software upgrades. Once merchants decide to update their POS systems, the limit is expected to rise up to 30 pounds in September.”

If you don’t see your bank on the list of participating companies, Apple has noted that several others are “coming soon.” This includes Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank and TSB.

HSBC spokesperson has told BBC that,

“We are working hard to bring this to our customers by the end of July.”

Reports surfaced in May that Apple Pay was in talks about coming to China, but there hasn’t been much else released on the matter since.

Apple Pay will be getting a makeover when the iOS 9 launches this fall.

TechCrunch reported that Passbook will be simply be called “wallet” and that,

“The upgraded app will also allow customers to store loyalty and rewards cards in addition to their payment cards and passes.”

Image: Via Apple

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