Apple Pay launches in UK with 250K stores, 8 banks participating

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2015
Nine months after its release in the U.S., Apple Pay will be available to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch users in the UK on Tuesday, local time, with support from more than 250,000 retail locations and eight major banks.




According to Apple's UK website, American Express, First Direct, HSBC, Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank are counted among the first participating financial institutions, while big names like Boots, Waitrose, Pret and Transport for London are offering initial retail support. Credit card companies Visa, MasterCard and American Express are also on board.

As reported by The Telegraph, future bank support from Halifax, Lloyds, and the Bank of Scotland is scheduled to hit this fall. Barclays appears to be the lone major UK bank holdout as it offers its own contactless system called bPay, though representatives have been quoted as saying an Apple Pay function would be available "imminently."

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 will need software upgrades. Once merchants decide to update their POS systems, the limit is expected to rise to 30 pounds in September, the report said.

Users in the UK should see services roll out as merchant POS systems update throughout the day.

Apple Pay launched as a U.S.-only feature last October, offering a contactless payment solution for iPhone 6 and now Apple Watch. Since then, financial institutions across the nation have thrown in, though Apple Pay's retail presence remains somewhat limited.

Following its launch in the UK, Apple is expected to expand services to China, Canada and other established markets.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,566member

    Cool.  Look forward to using it when I upgrade my 5S later this year.

  • Reply 2 of 53

    So...$46 when it's upgraded? That doesn't even fill my gas tank in the US. (and I drive a sedan, not an SUV) Is there some regulation involved here, or just an Apple issue?

  • Reply 3 of 53
    Not active yet :-(
  • Reply 4 of 53
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,920member
    purchases above 20 pounds will need software upgrades. Once merchants decide to update their POS systems, the limit is expected to rise to 30 pounds in September, the report said.
    this sucks
  • Reply 5 of 53
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,323member
    So...$46 when it's upgraded? That doesn't even fill my gas tank in the US. (and I drive a sedan, not an SUV) Is there some regulation involved here, or just an Apple issue?

    It's a UK banking issue. I have read elsewhere that, after the update, ApplePay will allow any amount.
    The £20 to £30 increase was happening anyway and doesn't require any hardware update.
  • Reply 6 of 53
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    So...$46 when it's upgraded? That doesn't even fill my gas tank in the US. (and I drive a sedan, not an SUV) Is there some regulation involved here, or just an Apple issue?




    No quote is wrong:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202527 Quote:

    Enabling contactless payments for any amount: Currently in some markets, contactless payments are restricted by a transaction limit. The use of CDCVM removes this limit.

     

    The current limit in the UK is that transactions under 20 pounds require no verification but that limit will be raised to 30 pounds soon. CDCVM tells the terminal that the phone verified the user through Touch ID, so it qualifies as a verified transaction.

     

    The problem with Europe and the rest of world's PIN system is that the card itself verifies the PIN internally. This can't happen on a contactless transaction since the card is removed before the PIN is entered.

     

    In the US, transactions above $50 are verified by a signature, so it doesn't affect contactless.

  • Reply 7 of 53
    chiachia Posts: 687member
    Is there anybody with UK cards and settings actually able to set up Apple Pay on their devices?

    I've been checking since midnight UK time and have had no joy yet.
  • Reply 8 of 53
    ljc94512ljc94512 Posts: 53member
    chia wrote: »
    Is there anybody with UK cards and settings actually able to set up Apple Pay on their devices?

    I've been checking since midnight UK time and have had no joy yet.

    You are not alone. I cannot detect it too. Apple's website hasn't changed to available yet, so I don't think it is available yet.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    Rumor has it that you can change your phone region to United States, add a card and change your region back.
  • Reply 10 of 53
    chiachia Posts: 687member
    Rumor has it that you can change your phone region to United States, add a card and change your region back.

    That's the unofficial way; if it's officially launched in the UK then people should be able to do it the proper way i.e. when device is set to the UK region.
  • Reply 11 of 53
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,738member
    konqerror wrote: »

    The problem with Europe and the rest of world's PIN system is that the card itself verifies the PIN internally. This can't happen on a contactless transaction since the card is removed before the PIN is entered.

    Seems a tad primitive for a system that everyone boasts is so way ahead?

    What was the logic for the £20 limit anyway?!
  • Reply 12 of 53
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 572member
    Seems a tad primitive for a system that everyone boasts is so way ahead?

    What was the logic for the £20 limit anyway?!

    PIN and Chip is for high value transactions where your bank balance is checked before the transaction is confirmed. The PIN is to verify that it's your card.

    Contactless is for immediate payments for small amounts where neither your bank balance nor your card ownership is checked. That's why there is a £20 limit.

    All ApplePay is in the UK is a wallet for Contactless.

    Maybe eventually, the fingerprint will serve as the PIN to allow for high value transactions.

    The benefit of Apple Pay in UK is data privacy and Contactless via Apple Watch. That's it.
  • Reply 13 of 53
    sflagel wrote: »

    PIN and Chip is for high value transactions where your bank balance is checked before the transaction is confirmed. The PIN is to verify that it's your card.

    Contactless is for immediate payments for small amounts where neither your bank balance nor your card ownership is checked. That's why there is a £20 limit.

    All ApplePay is in the UK is a wallet for Contactless.

    Maybe eventually, the fingerprint will serve as the PIN to allow for high value transactions.

    The benefit of Apple Pay in UK is data privacy and Contactless via Apple Watch. That's it.

    That sounds to me like a debit card. If so, that is rather primitive. If it's a true credit card, why would anyone need to check your bank balance? All they need to check is whether your purchase is within your credit limit. It's between you and your credit card company. In the U.S., it's generally lower credit quality consumers who use debit cards.

    More importantly, when using ApplePay it is puzzling to me that you would even need to pull out your credit card (ref. to konqerror's earlier point about the card being pulled out of the reader before PIN is entered). Whether with the Watch or the iPhone, all you do is hold it against an NFC terminal and you're done. If there is a PIN required, the terminal will ask you for it, and you put it in. Why should there be a need to put in or pull out a card at all?
  • Reply 14 of 53
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,449member
    sflagel wrote: »
    PIN and Chip is for high value transactions where your bank balance is checked before the transaction is confirmed. The PIN is to verify that it's your card.

    Contactless is for immediate payments for small amounts where neither your bank balance nor your card ownership is checked. That's why there is a £20 limit.

    All ApplePay is in the UK is a wallet for Contactless.

    Maybe eventually, the fingerprint will serve as the PIN to allow for high value transactions.

    The benefit of Apple Pay in UK is data privacy and Contactless via Apple Watch. That's it.

    We have a similar system in Canada for contactless, although the amount that you can use is variable by retailer. Some are low like sub $50, while others allow over $100. The reason is security. With a contactless card there is no verification, so to reduce fraud there is a dollar limit, and also ( I think) a limit on number of times you can use it in a row withou having to insert for PIN entry.

    Of course with Apple Pay and having s biometric verification, it is more secure than PIN and should allow any limit. Getting there I am sure requires software and service improvements. So by default Apple Pay works like any contactless card, but better implementation on the retail and bank side needed to enable the "nirvana" of ditching the card altogether
  • Reply 15 of 53
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 572member
    If it's a true credit card, why would anyone need to check your bank balance? All they need to check is whether your purchase is within your credit limit.
    Both debit cards and credit cards are Chip & PIN / Contactless. So if you use a debit card the POS checks your bank balance and if it's a credit card it checks your credit balance. In any case:
    - high value transactions both your ownership and balance are checked
    - low value transaction nothing is checked
  • Reply 16 of 53
    chiachia Posts: 687member
    Sadly there is a lack of knowledge and lack of research demonstrated by contributors to this thread.

    The reality is that the major card organisations of the world, i.e. VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB and UnionPay are all using the SAME EMV specifications and protocols for their EMV cards, whether these cards are Chip and PIN, chip and signature or indeed Contactless.

    These six organisations have even set up an organisation, EMVCo, "to facilitate worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure payment transactions." The six organisations have an equal controlling share of EMVCo.

    The specifications, protocols and capabilities of the system for EMV cards, be they contact or Contactless are surprisingly complex.

    To summarise with respect to Apple Pay, there is provision within the EMV contactless specification for a device, e.g. a mobile phone to be treated as a contactless card, and for a merchant terminal to recognise an authentic verification from that device by the contactless mechanism.

    Despite the one system being used globally there are numerous options as to how terminals and banking systems can be configured.

    The global variations we see are a result of local decisions at a merchant, banking and national level as to how the transactions are processed.

    There is no technical limit to Apple Pay transaction value or indeed to any contactless card, it's a matter of how banks have configured their systems.

    And yes, the terminals are able to differentiate between a mobile device and a contactless card.

    Visit [URL=http://www.emvco.com]www.emvco.com[/URL] for all the nitty gritty details and technical specifications.
  • Reply 17 of 53
    chiachia Posts: 687member
    sflagel wrote: »
    PIN and Chip is for high value transactions where your bank balance is checked before the transaction is confirmed. The PIN is to verify that it's your card.

    Contactless is for immediate payments for small amounts where neither your bank balance nor your card ownership is checked. That's why there is a £20 limit.

    All ApplePay is in the UK is a wallet for Contactless.

    Maybe eventually, the fingerprint will serve as the PIN to allow for high value transactions.

    The benefit of Apple Pay in UK is data privacy and Contactless via Apple Watch. That's it.

    This is incorrect, if you go through the EMV contactless Specifications, an authorisation (i.e. an approval for withdrawing a specified amount) can be carried out for a contactless card on a contactless touch.

    Personally I have noticed some contactless transactions at the same retailer take slightly longer than usual. These may be the instances where authorisation is requested or slow to return.
  • Reply 18 of 53
    chiachia Posts: 687member
    If it's a true credit card, why would anyone need to check your bank balance? All they need to check is whether your purchase is within your credit limit. It's between you and your credit card company.

    sflagel wrote: »
    Both debit cards and credit cards are Chip & PIN / Contactless. So if you use a debit card the POS checks your bank balance and if it's a credit card it checks your credit balance. In any case:
    - high value transactions both your ownership and balance are checked

    A subtlety in semantics I believe anantksundaram has astutely picked up on, from what I understand the merchants' terminals aren't checking how much money you've got in your account or available to spend, they're asking approval (or pre-approval) to withdraw a specific amount from the account.
  • Reply 19 of 53
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    Seems a tad primitive for a system that everyone boasts is so way ahead?

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    That sounds to me like a debit card. If so, that is rather primitive.

     

    Despite what people think, EMV is not way ahead. EMV was first developed in 1995. The main purpose of the standard was so that European merchants did not have to make expensive phone calls every time they accepted a credit card. Before EMV, European merchants either had to make a phone call, or didn't verify at all, using the paper card imprinter.

     

    The key feature is that the chip acts as an extension of the bank computer and can authorize transactions by itself. This is very risky. If somebody steals your card, they can potentially make many charges, even after you call the bank to disable it. This is why you need a PIN to secure the card in a pickpocket scenario.

     

    Between 1995 and now, almost all merchants got the Internet. This is why the US was so late to switch to EMV. Our phone calls are cheap, and online verification is safer anyway. Fraud detection systems became very good. Now that it finally makes sense to switch to EMV in the US, a new type of fraud has come up: stolen credit card numbers which are then used online. EMV offers little protection by itself in that.

     

    In most European countries, if a card is authorized with a PIN, it is hard to dispute it. Even though PIN bypass holes have been found. This is why merchants don't want to accept a card without PIN or other verification. In the US, the law places fraud liability on the bank, PIN or not, which is why signature authentication is still accepted.

  • Reply 20 of 53
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 572member
    chia wrote: »
    This is incorrect, if you go through the EMV contactless Specifications, an authorisation (i.e. an approval for withdrawing a specified amount) can be carried out for a contactless card on a contactless touch.

    Personally I have noticed some contactless transactions at the same retailer take slightly longer than usual. These may be the instances where authorisation is requested or slow to return.

    Interesting. Never noticed that but makes sense.
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