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The first banks to support Apple Pay when it launched in the UK in July last year were HSBC, Nationwide, American Express, First Direct, NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank. Gradually, more banks like Barclays, MBNA, Lloyds, Halifax, TSB and Santander started supporting the payment system, thanks to which Apple now boasts millions of Apple Pay users in the UK.
Back in June, it was reported by 9to5Mac that a number of UK retailers were letting customers make payments in excess of £30 using Apple Pay. "...several commenters noted that they’d been able to make higher-value transactions. This is the case where a retailer has a card-reader that uses something called the Consumer Device Cardholder Verification Method. This technology distinguishes Apple Pay from standard contactless cards, and dispenses with the £30 limit.
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Speaking to HSBC today, the bank wasn’t able to say how many retailers have installed the new systems, but tells me that “many major retailers” now use it," wrote Ben LoveJoy in the report. If the report is true, the usage of Apple Pay will skyrocket in no time as it makes making payments easier than through credit or debit cards. However, this hasn't been announced officially as yet so very few know about it so far.
Even though Apple Pay had a free run until March, it has now been joined by Android Pay which is compatible with most new Android smartphones in the country. However, Apple Pay still has a sizable lead over Android Pay in terms of supporting banks but it is doubtful if the lead will exist for too long. A large majority of phone users in the UK use Android devices so in terms of volumes, it won't take long for the system to dominate Apple Pay.