Today marks the launch of Apple Pay in the UK. First launched in the US last autumn and now reaching UK shores, UK customers will now be able to pay for items by tapping an iPhone or an Apple Watch to a card reader. Participating locations include Marks and Spencer and Waitrose, as well as TfL (Transport For London), the company which runs the London Underground.
Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association, commented, “The introduction of Apple Pay and other new innovative ways to make card payments is great news for consumers and retailers, especially with the increase of the contactless payment limit to £30 from September.
“There has been major growth in the use of contactless as customers and retailers recognise how fast, easy and secure it is to make payments. Innovations such as mobile technology open up new opportunities for consumers to pay with contactless and we expect the surge in use to continue as a result.
“The introduction of the new £30 contactless limit from September is significant as it will narrow the gap between contactless payments and the average card transaction value of £44. Cards are increasingly the preferred method of payment for many consumers, now totalling three-quarters of all retail sales in the UK, and new innovations will only contribute to this.”
Recent figures show there was a 331 per cent rise in use of contactless in 2014, which is behind the increasing shift from cash to cards for low value payments.
According to Transport for London (TfL), on 13 March 2015 the number of contactless taps made on a single day across London’s transport network reached one million. Over 14 per cent of all pay as you go journeys across TfL services are now made using contactless, with over 60 million journeys made in the last six months.