Apple Pay reportedly to hit UK in first half of 2015, negotiations proving tricky


Apple’s NFC-powered mobile payments service Apple Pay is due to hit the UK market in the first half of 2015, after gaining some ground in the US at the end of this year, reports The Telegraph.

The British publication didn’t name which banks specifically are in talks with Apple, but reported “at least one of the biggest banks” has been tricky in negotiating with the company.

The unnamed bank is said to be weary of which data Apple will be able to access, including the amount of personal and financial information the Cupertino-based company will be able to collect. Some executives fear Apple wants to take over the banking industry.

Still, even with this fear, it would be dumb for a bank to miss out on Apple Pay. It’s still early days for the mobile payment software. However, early numbers are looking good.

Apple Pay now accounts for 1.7 percent of the mobile payments market after its launch on October 20, still lagging behind Google Wallet’s 4 percent share of the market, according to ITG research. The top three retail locations iOS users took advantage of Apple Pay during its first six weeks on the market were Whole Foods, Walgreens, and McDonalds.

A job listing in December revealed Apple is forming a new team focused on Apple Pay at its London office.

“The new London-based Apple Pay team will work to drive the roll-out of this technology across EMEIA by working with a variety of internal and external partners, including teams in the US where the product will first launch and the EMEIA organisation, as well as Issuers, payment networks and merchants across Europe.”

The retail and commercial banking markets in the UK are dominated by HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Spanish-owned Santander. Most of the companies operate more than one banking brand that may sound a bit more familiar.

[The Telegraph]