A new way to pay

Today sees the launch of a new payment method which we think is going to be pretty revolutionary. With their usual polished user experience and super slick interface, Apple has brought Apple Pay to the UK.

That means, for many of the UK’s users of the latest iPhones and the Apple Watch, paying for stuff is going to be easier when you’re spending less than £20. There’ll be no fumbling around for your wallet or purse – just tap your device on the contactless payment device in store and, well, that’s it. You’re done.

What is Apple Pay and how does it work? Remember the Passbook app that you might not have really used all that much before? Well, it’s time to dig it out of that folder where all the unloved apps reside (we’ve all got one), because Passbook is changing its name to Wallet and will likely get a little more usage from now on.

From today, 14 July, you can add selected credit and debit cards to your Passbook portfolio. Thanks to the iPhone’s camera-based card reader, you won’t even have to type in that long card number. Lovely.

How safe is it? There’s some serious technical genius which ensures that your card details are safe. Your sensitive data is stored on a secure element inside your iPhone and isn’t accessible by iOS, which means if your phone was ever hacked somehow, your data would be safe.

If you lose your phone, you can log into Find My iPhone and suspend any payments from the device – way easier than losing your wallet and having to call all your card providers and grovel for replacements.

Rubbish at remembering your PIN or, even worse, remembering to shield it from that one person who always ends up behind you in the queue and seems oblivious to the meaning of the phrase ‘personal space’? Worry not – with Apple Pay, a PIN is a thing of the past. Instead, you’ll just need that one thing that nobody else has: your fingerprint. So yeah, you could say it’s pretty safe.

Can I use it? First things first – to use Apple Pay, you’re going to need an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. If you’re lucky enough to have gotten your hands (wrists?) on an Apple Watch, you can use it when paired with iPhone 5 or later. You can also use the latest generation of iPads to buy things online with Apple Pay.

Next up – banks. Several UK banks & card providers have announced that they’re on board with Apple Pay from launch, with more promising to join in later this year. Check HERE to see if your bank or card provider is involved.

Finally, the shops. From today, Apple Pay is available at various outlets from McDonalds to M&S. You can grab a cheeky Nando’s with less fuss, and use Apple Pay where you’d normally use an Oyster card. Even better, O2 Priority partner Boots is up and running from today, so you can pay for your £1 lunch every Monday without breaking a sweat.

You can see the full list of participating retailers HERE.

So, there you go – Apple Pay has landed. If its success since the US launch in October last year is anything to go by, we reckon it’s going to be a pretty popular way to pay.

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