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What is Apple Pay and how does it work?

Just recently, something launched in the UK that you you may have recognised as Apple’s answer to a digital wallet, Apple Pay. We’ve put together a short overview of what it is, how is works and where you can use it…

What are mobile payments?

A system, which in practice, is so much more secure than using contactless cards and even chip and pin. Put simply, it lets you use your iPhone to pay for items in big high street retailers, such as Marks and Spencer, Costa, Waitrose, Boots and more. It works in any shop which accepts contactless cards up to £30, but in approved stores (generally larger retailers), the limit is as big as your credit limit on your card. It allows you to spend more than contactless cards because of the secure technology built into the iPhone, and also because it requires your fingerprint from Touch ID to pay for items.

On the security note, Apple Pay is identified as more secure than using chip and pin because it uses something called tokenisation. This uses a one-time, unique code to communicate between your phone and the bank, replacing your actual payment card number. Whilst tokenisation is not a new concept, Apple have ensured that it has been modified to be more secure than ever, working closely with networks such as Visa and American Express.

Will Apple Pay work with my phone?

Maybe, if you’re up to date. Apple Pay works with the latest iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, as well as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch. If you have an Apple Watch paired with an iPhone 5, 5c or 5s then it will also work.

How will Apple Pay work with my card?

If you have a debit or credit card from NatWest, Nationwide, RBS, Santander, Ulster Bank, First Direct, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, TSB Bank or M&S Bank then it will work with Apple Pay – currently, Barclays is still working on it.

All you have to do is enter your payment card details into your iPhone using the Passbook app.

Where can I use Apple Pay?

We have already listed a few, but as of writing, you can use it in these retailers:

  • Apple Retail Store
  • Bill’s
  • Boots
  • BP
  • Costa
  • EAT.
  • Five Guys
  • Greggs
  • KFC
  • KRCS
  • Lidl
  • M&S
  • M&S Simply Food
  • Mcdonalds
  • Nandos
  • Post Office
  • Pret
  • ScrewFix
  • Spar
  • Starbucks
  • Subway
  • The co-op
  • Transport for London
  • Wagamama
  • Waitrose
  • Wilks

To pay at the checkout, it’s very simple – on iPhone simply double tap the home button on the lock screen.

Is Apple Pay secure and is there a limit?

As mentioned, Apple Pay is actually more secure than using a credit or debit card, even chip and pin. Because the iPhone has an integrated fingerprint scanner, the spend limit is as much as when using a conventional credit card. In the UK, contactless is a very common thing to see and in shops that don’t officially accept Apple Pay, the limit is £30.

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