Citing multiple retail sources, the usually reliable 9to5Mac said the Cupertino company’s mobile payments service is set to go live across the country at a slew of stores, among them Waitrose, M&S, Lidl, Starbucks, JD Sports, and also the nation’s post offices.
Launched in the U.S. in October last year, Apple Pay’s U.K. rollout will mark the service’s first move into an overseas market.
However, one notable drawback is the fact that transactions at many retail locations will be limited to just £20 ($31), rising to £30 ($46) in September. It’s a security thing – contactless payment technology for credit cards has been in use in many U.K. stores for nearly 10 years, with the limit designed to prevent stolen cards being used for big purchases.
Of course, such a cap seems unnecessary for Apple Pay as transactions can only take place after the user’s fingerprint has been recognized by the iPhone’s Touch ID sensor.
Apple is encouraging U.K. retailers to update their systems to allow for bigger purchases, explaining on a dedicated page on its website that until the necessary changes are made, “customers might need to insert their card” when the value of the sale exceeds £20. It’s not clear how keen retailers are to carry out the necessary work to accommodate larger transactions with Apple Pay, though it’s not thought to be costly so could take place sooner rather than later.
U.K. customers with an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch can make a contactless payment with their device at locations displaying the Apple Pay acceptance mark at their point-of-sale terminals.
Some 250,000 terminals across the nation will be ready to offer Apple Pay as an option when it rolls out later this month.