Contactless payment

Apple Pay gets off to smooth start

Apple PayContactless payment took another stride forward with the launch of Apple Pay which allows customers to pay for goods and services via a smartphone without tapping in any details of the transaction.

The iPhone can already store all loyalty cards and boarding passes, and with Apple Pay, it will house credit and debit card details.

Currently the service only operates via the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, though the Apple Watch can be used for payment even if connected to an iPhone 5, iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c.

The system uses the a chip in the iPhone in conjunction with the Touch ID fingerprint reader on the phone.

This connects to a debit or credit card from American Express, MBNA, Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander or Ulster Bank. HSBC, Lloyds and Barclays admitted that they were not ready. Some 250,000 outlets are set up to take Apple Pay, including Boots, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, though it can be used in considerably more that are able to accept other contactless payment systems.

The whole process for loading Apple Pay takes about two minutes while payment requires holding a locked iPhone next to the contactless terminal. The iPhone instantly brings up the Apple Pay screen and asked the shopper to verify the payment with a fingerprint.

Apple Pay has been in use in the US since October 2014 and has proved hugely popular. Experts believe Samsung and Google will soon adopt the technology.

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