The 26th Worldwide Developer Conference keynote has finished, with updates to iOS 9, Mac OS X, WatchOS and the launch of Apple Music all present.
Apple Pay received a few updates as well, alongside the announcement of a UK launch in July. It is the second country to receive Apple Pay support, following on from the strong launch in the United States.
Apple has been in talks with UK banks for a few months, reportedly delaying the launch until July due to one major bank. It looks like this matter has been resolved, with eight of the most popular banks on board with the launch of Apple Pay.
Costa Coffee, Marks and Spencers, Waitrose and Boots will all support Apple Pay at launch, alongside 250,000 other stores nationwide. London Underground will even offer support for the payments service, allowing you to pay for the train through the iPhone.
“Apple Pay coming to the UK is the next step to not just a cashless, but also cardless society which I believe is just years away. Apple starting with 250,000 locations in the UK shows Apple’s commitment to a larger launch than in the US,” said CEO of Judo Payments, Dennis Jones. “And for us in the UK’s capital we can say goodbye to the Oyster card with Apple Pay’s seamless process coming to Transport for London from July.”
Apple Pay will be available through a dedicated update to iOS, named 8.1.4. It will be the last major update to the platform before the iOS 9 release, coming this fall.
The UK has embraced contactless payment at a much faster rate compared to other European countries, making it much easier for Apple Pay to become widely adopted.
Apple announced several updates to Apple Pay at WWDC, including store, loyalty and reward cards. All of these cards will be stored in a new app called ‘Wallet’, a revamped version of Passbook with a cleaner interface.
Anthony Duffy, director of retail banking in UK & Ireland at Fujitsu comments: “Apple Pay’s announcement that it will land in the UK this summer is exciting and to be welcomed. It is likely to act as a major stimulus in the development of electronic wallets in Britain. It will also provide Apple with a head start over rivals Android Pay and Samsung Pay, neither of which have announced plans yet to enter the UK market.
“Those who are already familiar with using contactless payments will soon find that using an electronic wallet via their mobile phone is a simple and logical next step. Indeed, the growth in contactless payments is already growing and looks set to accelerate further, driven by three key developments – increased consumer comfort in using non-traditional payment options; a continued shift to internet shopping; and the appearance of new, additional payment options such as Apple Pay.
“However, others may be concerned by perceived security issues. For this reason, the industry will look to continue its twin approaches of deploying state-of-the art security and communicating its risk mitigation approaches to both current and prospective users.
"Apple Pay has elected to deploy finger print technology on its mobile phones, while, at Fujitsu, we believe that iris recognition technologies offer the ultimate form of protection”.