Apple unveils mobile payment service in the UK

Apple unveils mobile payment service in the UK

Apple will launch its contactless mobile payment service, Apple Pay, in July.

Apple Pay will be available at over 250,000 locations and will be accepted across all the major credit and debit card networks, including high street retailers and Transport for London.

Claire Maslen, head of financial services at GSMA, believes that Apple’s reputation will soon see mobile payments become a ‘must have’, claiming that the Apple Pay feature may switch users off systems such as Android.

She said: ‘Apple Pay will launch with a solid portfolio of many of the UK's banks, with more to come in the autumn. The contactless acceptance landscape in the UK is ripe for solid activity and it will be interesting to see the acquisition figures in coming months – is Apple Pay enough to switch users to iOS from their Android or BB devices?

‘Perhaps more interesting to see will be the draw on the banking switch – in the UK more people get divorced than switch bank account, but will their proposed marriage to Apple Pay be enough to make consumers make the switch for banks not yet participating? Apple have a history of making different technologies, the ‘must have’, and mobile payments will be no exception. This move, with so many launch partners, is hugely positive for the industry.’

Apple has described Apple Pay as a ‘breakthrough service’ stating that when adding a credit or debit card onto the system, the card number is not stored on the users’ smartphone or onto Apple servers. Instead a Device Account Number is assigned, with the retailer receiving a one off token to debit the payment.

Visa Europe’s Payment Token Service is used to deliver this method of payment, with the company announcing Visa cardholders will have access to Apple Pay. Jeremy Nicholds, Executive Director of Mobile at Visa Europe, explained that Apple Pay will push the mobile payment market forward.

He said: ‘Contactless payments are already widely embraced by millions of Visa cardholders across the country every day, so adding the simplicity and convenience of Apple Pay will catapult mobile payments into the mainstream.

‘If people leave the house with one item, it’s their mobile phone – we’ve worked alongside Apple and the various banks involved to give customers a really seamless and exciting new payment experience through Apple Pay, so they have new ways to use their favourite Visa cards on the go and when shopping in the apps they love.’

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