With the launch of Apple Pay in the UK today, there is much hyperbole and breathlessness about how its going to change everything from the banking industry to how we shop to who rules the world. It will have an impact, but a tempered one as our story shows. But what do you really need to know about Apple Pay?
Here are some key facts
How do retailers set up on Apple Pay?
If you already accept contactless payments, then you can just start accepting them. You may have to – or wish to – reconfigure your back end to accept fingerprint recognition instead of a PIN, but that’s up to you.
To find out if you can and what you need to do – as well as how to add it to your online offering and get the all the decals for your shop window, speak to your payment provider. Apple Pay already works with:
• Barclaycard Merchant Services
• Clydesdale Bank
• The Co-operative Bank
• First Data
• Global Payments
• Lloyds Bank Cardnet
Are there any additional fees?
No there are no additional fees it is just a card transaction.
Which banks are offering Apple Pay in the UK from today?
• Royal Bank of Scotland
• Ulster Bank
Which banks are offering it later (and when)?
• HSBC (end of July)
• Bank of Scotland (autumn 2015)
• Halifax (autumn 2015)
• Lloyds (autumn 2015)
• TSB (autumn 2015)
• M&S (autumn 2015)
• Barclays (in the future)
Which shops are accepting it?
250,000 outlets are accepting Apple Pay at launch. That includes:
• all 39 Apple stores
• New Look
• The Post Office.
For Londoners, the best news is that Transport for London is supporting Apple Pay too, so you can use your phone as an Oyster card. With contactless cards already supported on the Tube and buses, this is set to finally bring mobile transport payments to the masses.
How do shoppers use it?
The consumer adds their card or cards to the Apple Pay app on their device – they can add as many as they want, but one must be set as a default.
Then to pay, they simply wave their phone near the NFC terminal and their default card will be debited by the amount if just being used for tap and go, or they will have to enter a PIN into the NFC merchant terminal or use their fingerprint ID if the retailer wants to offer more security.
If using the watch then they waft it near the terminal and double click the side button.
There is no need to open and app unless the customer wants to change the default card being used.
Can it be used online?
Yes it can from online shops, apps and adverts that are served up by Apple’s iAds platform, again limiting its use.
Is there a spending limit?
Yes there is: currently its £20 per transaction, rising to £30 later this year, says Apple, for tap and go transactions. For anything over these limits the card will have to be inserted into the machine and PIN used in the normal way.
Is it secure?
Very. It uses tokenisation – much as PingIt and Zapp and many others do – so no actual card details are ever transmitted. It also is designed to work only with Apple devices that have the fingerprint recognition technology – so the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, watch and iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2. This is the second layer of security: you need the owner’s fingers to make the transaction. However, it is up to merchants to reconfigure their NFC terminals to accept the fingerprint recognition as ID rather than a PIN entered on the terminal.
Can anyone use it?
No. You have to have an iPhone 6, 6 Plus or iPad Mini 3 or iPad Air 2 to get it set up… Once set up you can use other apple devices to pay for things online (see paying online). but you can’t get going with out a brand new device.