Apple Pay today launched in the UK with the backing of around 15 fashion retailers and more than 250,000 payment locations across the country.
The contactless mobile payment service is available in the likes of Marks and Spencer, JD Sports, Liberty London and H&M.
A number of retailers have also made contactless payments available through their iPhone apps, including Topshop, Zara, Zalando and Miss Selfridge.
Some shoppers, including myself, have already been left disappointed on launch day after they found out they could have to wait until as late as the autumn to pay for goods via their iPhone 6, iPad or Apple Watch.
This was because not all the banks were ready to work with the payment service. Those with NatWest, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster account can use Apple Pay from today, but HSBC and First Direct cards won’t work until later in July and Lloyds Bank, TSB, Bank of Scotland and Halifax won’t offer the service until the autumn.
So after borrowing a colleague’s debit card (as mine were among those not accepted yet) and registering it on my device, I went down to Marks & Spencer’s store on Moorgate in central London, a retailer which claims to offer one of the biggest contactless payment estates, to try it out.
The whole process is fairly simple, at the till point the contactless card reader now features an Apple logo to alert shoppers to its availability.
By holding my iPhone to the reader I could select which card to pay with and then use my fingerprint to complete the transaction securely. E-receipts can also be kept in the mobile wallet to keep track of spending.
However, when I tried to return the item, I had to produce the physical card in order to have the cash returned to the account, which seems a rather clunky oversight.
Next up, it was New Look’s turn. After selecting a product and making my way to the till, I was greeted with the sight of chip and pin readers incapable of accepting even contactless payment cards, despite the retailer being on the list of those ready to accept the new payment option.
My verdict of Apple’s new gimmick/service would be that I can’t see the payment method replacing contactless cards where a user already has one.
Unless you’re in New Look, then it’s time to dig out paper and coins…whatever those things are.
Click here for a video of Drapers putting Apple Pay to the test in Marks & Spencer Moorgate.
Fashion retailers known to offer Apple Pay:
- Brooks Brothers
- JD Sports
- Jack & Jones
- Louis Vuitton
- Marks and Spencer
- Miss Selfridge
- New Look