In line with earlier rumours, Apple announced today that it will bring its mobile payment platform to the UK. It was a big disappointment for Canadians, who were waiting for Apple Pay to reach their country, but it seems like what’s possible in the UK couldn’t make it in Canada.
You may recall that Tim Cook highlighted how Apple is trying to be the change — to bring women in tech — well, that change is today: the keynote featured a female speaker in vice president of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey.
Discover will join Apple Pay this fall, Bailey said, emphasizing that Square will launch an Apple Pay-compatible reader. The mobile payment platform is currently limited to the US, but in seven months of availability, it has registered tremendous growth: it started with 220,000 locations and will surpass 1 million locations in July.
“Apple Pay has quickly become a big part of millions of users’ everyday shopping routines, providing a simpler, faster and more secure way to pay,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re thrilled to bring Apple Pay to the UK with support at launch from the most popular banks, an incredible roster of merchants and many of our users’ favourite apps.”
Next month, Apple will also extend the availability of its mobile payment platform to Europe: Apple Pay will launch in the UK in July. Apple’s partners are HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide Building Society, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank. At launch, Apple Pay will support 70% of credit and debit cards in the UK. Other major issuing banks will follow by this fall, including Bank of Scotland, Coutts, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, MBNA, M&S Bank and TSB Bank.
About 250,000 merchant locations will support Apple Pay, and most importantly, if you happen to be in London and want to use the London transport system, you will be able to commute and pay on the London Underground. In addition to the 39 Apple Stores in the UK, leading locations for everyday shopping that will accept Apple Pay include Boots UK, BP, Costa Coffee, Dune, JD Sports, KFC UK & Ireland, Liberty, LIDL, Marks & Spencer (M&S), McDonald’s UK, Nando’s, New Look, Post Office, Pret A Manger, SPAR, Starbucks, SUBWAY stores, Wagamama and Waitrose.
Apps that will accept Apple Pay in the UK include Addison Lee, Airbnb, Argos, Booking.com, British Airways, Domino’s, easyJet, Hailo, HotelTonight, hungryhouse, JD Sports, Just Eat, lastminute.com, Miss Selfridge, Ocado, Stubhub, thetrainline.com, Top 10, Topshop, Uncover, Vueling, YPlan, Zalando and Zara, among others.