Barclays announced on Tuesday morning that, after long months of absence, it finally supports Apple Pay in the UK. This gives Barclays customers with a compatible device – iPhone SE, iPhone 6 or later – the ability to pay for purchases at over 400,000 contactless locations in the country, to pay for their fare on the London transport network, and to shop using participating retailers’ apps.
Barclays is the last major UK bank to join Apple Pay. The bank was the first to introduce contactless credit cards in the UK in 2007, and in December 2015 alone they recorded 140 million contactless transactions.
Apple Pay is supported by Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA, Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, TSB, and Ulster Bank.
Now, as we turn our attention to Canada, we find that Canadian banks still don’t support Apple Pay. The only partner to support Apple Pay in Canada is American Express. However, Canada isn’t the only country where Apple is still negotiating with banks (most likely the sticking point is Apple’s cut): Australian bank continue to refrain from supporting Apple Pay.
There has been evidence to suggest that other banks may join soon, but as you have already noticed, financial institutions are still silent on the matter. Maybe Apple is preparing to announce new banking partners at the next earnings call or at WWDC 2016? Anything is possible. Until then, don’t leave your wallet at home.