How to Use Apple Pay: The New Way to Pay Launches Today in the UK


Apple Pay has launched in the UK today, bringing with it a new method to make payments using select Apple devices. It’s a useful service, albeit one that doesn’t have a lot of carriers at the time of writing, though that is expected to change in the near future.

The feature operates in the same way as the iOS Passbook, allowing you to add a credit/debit card in order to make payments using your device’s NFC scanner. Here’s a guide on where you can use Apple Pay, which banks currently host the new feature and, more importantly, how to use it:


Does my bank support Apple Pay?

The following banks currently support Apple Pay at the time of its launch: 

  • Natwest
  • Nationwide
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Santander
  • Ulster Bank
  • American Express

The following banks will support Apple Pay by the end of July:

  • HSBC
  • First Direct

The following banks will support Apple Pay by the end of 2015:

  • Lloyds TSB
  • Halifax
  • Bank of Scotland
  • MBNA

While the Co-operative Bank has yet to confirm whether it will eventually support Apple’s payment system, Barclays has stated that it will carry Apple Pay despite having launched its own contactless payment devices that are in competition with it.


Which Apple devices feature Apple Pay?


Unfortunately only newer Apple devices support Apple Pay, with only the latest iPhones allowing for contactless payments due to them carrying both NFC technology and fingerprint detection. They will also need to be running iOS 8.3, so if your device isn’t up to date then be sure to update it if you want to use Apple Pay.

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The devices that feature Apple Pay are as follows:

  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Mini 3
  • Apple Watch

Out of this list of devices, only the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus can make both in-store and in-app payments, while the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 can only make in-app payments and the Apple Watch in-store payments.


How do I use Apple Pay?

Using Apple Pay is very simple. You can access the feature by going on to your device’s Passbook app, where you’ll see the option to add a debit or credit card (you can access the Passbook through Settings on your iPad).

After you have linked your card to your Passbook account you can then swipe your device over the card reader in compatible stores, with your payment information being stored on your device. But don’t worry, this doesn’t create a security threat – Apple’s Touch ID system ensures that every time you will make a payment, you will need to scan your fingerprint in order to confirm your identity.


Photo: Getty Images

To add an extra degree of security, your card will need to be approved by your bank before you can use it, who may ask for security information or send you through a security code that you must enter in order to link your debit/credit card with your Passbook account.


Where can I use Apple Pay?

The following UK stores all support Apple Pay at the time of its launch:

  • Lidl
  •  M&S
  • Post Office
  • Liberty
  • McDonalds
  • Le Pain Quotidien
  • Bill’s
  • Boots
  • Costa
  • Waitrose
  • Pret
  • BP
  • Subway
  • Wagamama
  • Spar
  • KFC
  • Nando’s
  • Starbucks

The following stores will carry Apple Pay by the end of the year:

  • New Look
  • Wilko
  • Screwfix
  • EAT
  • Costcutter
  • Five Guys
  • Dune
  • JD Sports

And that’s all there is to it. It remains to be seen whether or not Apple Pay manages to widen its reach beyond the stores that will be carrying it by the end of 2015, and whether it will be considered a viable method of payment considering contactless debit/credit cards already exist in the region, but it’s a cool little feature that owners of Apple devices will be able to implement into their day-to-day shopping routines.