Apple Pay, the mobile payment system that Apple developed and released in the United States last year, is coming to the United Kingdom this Tuesday, July 14th. Apparently, HSBC, a leading banking entity in Britain, confirmed the date by accident (sort of) via social media.
Apple is targeting the United Kingdom to be the first country outside the US to have Apple Pay. Launched in America in October last year, Apple Pay is a contactless mode of payment that allows users, specifically those who own an iPhone 6, an iPhone 6 Plus, or an Apple Watch, to facilitate payment of items purchased in shops. As long as the business establishment has a point of sale (POS) device equipped with near field communications (NFC) technology, Apple users can just swipe their iPhone 6 phones, or else use a TouchID fingerprint scanner to authenticate their identity for items bought online. By landing in the UK, Apple’s mobile payment system takes a significant step on its way to achieving a global presence.
As for HSBC’s blunder -- how exactly did it happen? Fresh from tweeting about Wimbledon over the course of last week, the HSBC_UK Twitter account enthusiastically replied to a UK customer (a British chap who goes by the name of Andy Thursby) that Apple’s payment system will be debuting in the UK this Tuesday. Although HSBC was quick to delete the tweet, it was not hasty enough to escape the attention of Apple fans everywhere.
Furthermore, some eager UK users have started spotting some Apple Pay signages appearing in a number of shops based in the UK, and these users were quick to snap a picture and post it via Twitter.
Apple Pay is expected to work in 250,000 stores across the United Kingdom, including well known establishments like Starbucks, Marks & Spencer, Boots, Costa Coffee, and Nandos, among many others. Even the UK’s Post Office will be adopting Apple’s payment, so is the London Underground’s contactless ticket barriers.
Moreover, apart from HSBC, other UK banks such as Halifax, NatWest, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Santander are all supporting Apple Pay.
Initially, Apple Pay will match the 20 British Pound limit per transaction set by contactless cards to hinder criminal elements from stealing a user’s card or phone. Starting on September, users will be able to spend 30 British Pounds at a time on their contactless card, and Apple Pay may also increase by then.
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