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Apple Pay Now Available to Millions in UK


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“The pieces of the puzzle are coming together for a seismic shift from plastic to digital” – Jeremy Nicholds, Visa Europe

London, 14 July 2015:Today, Visa Europe announced that Visa debit and credit cardholders from leading UK banks now have access to the newly launched Apple Pay, giving iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 users an easy, secure and private way to pay through those devices. Apple Pay can be used with any of the contactless point-of-sale terminals which are already used by Visa cardholders millions of times every day throughout the UK.

Visa Europe researchannounced in May shows that there is high consumer demand for mobile payment solutions, particularly with iOS users, 60% of whom want to pay for goods and services using their mobile phone, indicating that uptake of Apple Pay will be significant.

Jeremy Nicholds, Executive Director of Mobile at Visa Europe, commented: “Consumer demand for mobile contactless payments combined with the fact that 70% of people in the UK own a smartphone means that the pieces of the puzzle are coming together for a seismic shift from plastic to digital. With today’s launch of Apple Pay, it is clear that mobile solutions will fast become a preferred way to store and use a credit or debit card.”

Apple Pay can be used to touch and pay wherever Visa contactless payment is accepted. There are already more than 410,000 terminals in 250,000 locations accepting Visa with Apple Pay.

At launch, people who bank with MBNA, Nationwide, NatWest, RBS, Santander, and Ulster Bank will be able to load their Visa debit or credit cards into Apple Pay with other banks to follow in the coming months, including First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, and TSB.

Security and privacy are at the core of Visa’s products. When you add a Visa credit or debit card to Apple Pay, the actual payment card details are not stored on the device nor on Apple’s servers. Instead, Visa generates a unique token or Device Account Number which is assigned and stored on your device.

Setting up Apple Pay is easy. Visa card holders can either select the card currently used in the iTunes account or they can add a new debit or credit card. When making a purchase in store, Visa cardholders just hold the iPhone to a contactless terminal with their finger held to Touch ID.

Because consumers are using their Visa cards within Apple Pay, they will be covered by all the same benefits they currently enjoy with their debit and credit cards, including fraud protection for unauthorised purchases and widespread international acceptance.

Visa cards loaded into Apple Pay will work on any NFC-based contactless point-of-sale terminal and is designed to work for payments of any amount using Touch ID to verify the cardholder. The number of UK businesses that accept high value mobile payments (over the £20 contactless threshold) in their stores is still growing and Visa expects that many more shops and restaurants will make the necessary software upgrades so that, by the end of the year, more than 80% of contactless terminals will accept payments of any value made with Apple Pay and other mobile contactless services.

Apple Pay currently works with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and all Apple Watch* models. For payments through mobile apps, Apple Pay is also compatible with iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

* Apple Pay requires the Apple Watch to be paired with an iPhone 5 (or later) that has iOS 8.2 (or later) installed