Apple Pay UK

Two weeks after Apple Pay launched in the United Kingdom, HSBC and First Direct customers can now use the service. Both banks were originally supposed to support Apple Pay at launch, and were even mentioned in Apple’s support document listing participating banks, but were delayed due to “some issues” until late July.

Apple Pay in the UK imposes a £20 transaction limit as a security measure due to outdated POS terminals. Apple said the £20 limit will increase to £30 in September. The cap will go away once retailers roll out more modern contactless payment terminals.

HSBC appears to be requiring that would-be Apple Pay users have a personal bank account with a Visa Debit Card.

Apple’s FAQ explains that many merchant terminals and payment providers in the UK currently do not support the latest network specifications for contactless debit and credit cards.

As a result, paying for higher-value transactions with Apple Pay require confirming the transaction with a PIN or signature.

Upon upgrading their contactless payment terminals with a technology called Consumer Device Cardholder Verification Method, retailers will be permitted to remove the cap so customers will be allowed to use Apple Pay without a PIN or signature.

At the time of this writing, the following UK banks supported Apple Pay:

  • American Express
  • HSBS
  • First Direct
  • NatWest
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • MBNA
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Santander
  • Ulster Bank

Both Lloyds Bank and Barclays committed to support Apple Pay in the future.

In addition, the official Apple Pay webpage lists Halifax, M&S Bank and TSB Bank as “coming soon.” In addition, customers in the UK will soon be able to pay with Apple Pay at Five Guys restaurants and Wilko stores across the country.

Apple Pay is supported on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch for in-store and in-app purchases. In-app Apple Pay purchases are also supported on the iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2.

For more information on setting up and using Apple Pay on your iOS devices, check out Jeff’s tutorial. If you plan on using Apple Pay on your Apple Watch, we have you covered, too!

  • madeira83

    The tweet from HSBC states members with a visa debit card. What about customers in the US? I have a Master Card Debit card. I tried to add my HSBC card but it still gives me the error that my provider is not listed.

    • Pretty sure it’s a different system. The same is true for the idiots at Barclays that think their mobile payment system is better than Apple Pay (they have support for it in the US but not in the UK). I’m sure it’ll come at some point in time, the least banks could do is keep their customers informed though by giving them some sort of timeline.

  • Tony Farrar

    I used my Apple watch to pay at Subway in the UK today via Apple Pay

  • randoms

    you can actually already pay at wilko’s already in the uk, noticed today when paying by card, they state at the tills or on there actual card readers that they accept it now

  • InfinitePlusOne

    I realised Apple Pay works at any store that supports contactless payment. well I’ve tried 3 so far. Boots, was on Apple website, Wilko was “Coming soon” but it worked, also tried 99p store. It worked there as well. So I’m guessing retailers don’t specifically have to support Apple Pay, all they need is contactless readers?