Skip to main content

Our first experiences with Apple Pay

The week started off well and created a buzz throughout the digital world after Apple released Apply Pay (opens in new tab) to the UK Market

As a digital agency of course we had a few people in the office who couldn’t wait to get stuck in and experience this new service from Apple.

Since the launch, our Creative Director Darren Walters and Account Director Patrick Minard have been reviewing Apple Pay. Here’s how they got on

Darren Walters - Creative Director

My initial thoughts on Apple Pay (opens in new tab) are positive and I think it will be a popular choice for owners of the Apple Watch and latest iPhone hardware. I’m a big fan of the added layer of security from Touch ID, meaning only I alone can pay with my device. I’m hoping this point of difference from contactless cards will mean that the £20 maximum spend threshold can be raised.

So far I have used the service twice. Buying dinner in M&S after a run provided a great opportunity to try it out. With my wallet and phone packed away in my bag, I was able to quickly wave my Apple Watch in front of the card reader and pay without having to fumble through my backpack.

Patrick Minard - Account Director

On 14 July the eagerly awaiting UK market were finally able to access and use Apple Pay, well for those who had bank cards that were activated to work with Apple Pay.

Being a HSBC customer and knowing that they were one of the “launch” partners and seeing tweets from their official twitter account on how excited they were I couldn’t wait to be one of the first to use it.


(opens in new tab)

I awoke on the morning of the 14th excited to link my HSBC card up to Apple Pay and was frustratingly told to contact the card issuer as there was an error. Long story short, HSBC were actually not (opens in new tab) going to be activating Apple Pay for their customers until towards the end of July. It wasn’t just me that was annoyed with this.

Luckily I am also a NatWest customer and although they weren’t a launch partner, it worked and connected perfectly. So before work I headed to Waitrose to make my first purchase using Apple Pay. After choosing the usual “contactless” route on the till I then simply held my phone up to the reader with my thumb on the fingerprint reader and the transaction was complete.


(opens in new tab)

As you can see you also get a certain level of transaction history which is good to see (Maybe not when on a night out). It was a good experience and definitely one I will be using again.

There are some initial downsides. For example they are accepted on the London Underground. But for those who have a monthly or yearly season pass to save money, they cannot (At this moment) transfer this same scheme over to Apple Pay (opens in new tab). Although this is the same downside that contactless bank cards suffer from too.

Additionally I am sure there will be a rise of cracked screens from those that are a little clumsy, which when using a bank card isn’t that much of an issue, but with a £500+ device it becomes a little more important.

Overall I think it will take off and is definitely the future but it may remain a relatively slow uptake whilst more retailers adopt it and people feel more comfortable with this method of payment.

Check out our Apple Pay hub (opens in new tab) for everything that businesses need to know

Image source: Shutterstock/Bloomua