Apple Pay was launched in October 2014 to work with Apple's Passbook system and interact with payment terminals, enabling Apple users to pay for products and services at various outlets, as well as purchases made in the app itself. The setup of this system was amazing smooth, and as a result users in America accepted it instantly. There were a few minor hiccups in adoption, but overall the release was a resounding success.
Over the past year more and more users, retailers and outlets have started adopting this technology, to enable users to pay more conveniently using this system. Meanwhile, various mobile app developers and brands have also started implementing this technology into their apps.
During the recent WWDC, Apple made an announcement that has been long anticipated by mobile app developers in Britain - finally Apple Pay will launch in the UK. This will create an amazing opportunity for mobile app developers and retailers all over UK to accept quick payments for purchases made by Apple users via this system. With the Apple Watch now in the equation, this drastically improves the way purchases can be made by Apple users, who make up a substantial portion of the market in the UK.
Almost all major banks have already signed up with Apple Pay and are looking to roll out this system nationwide over the next few months. During WWDC 2015, Apple also announced that the platform will be compatible with Square, enabling small businesses to accept this payment method too.
The significance of this announcement is that Apple has shown its willingness to work alongside third party terminals to enable users to pay for purchases. This could encourage hardware startups to focus on building sturdy ecosystems for payment gateways using Apple Pay, whilst also ensuring that users have a multitude of terminal options for payments.
With the introduction of Apple Pay in the UK, it’s inevitable that Apple will soon be looking to expand its reach to multiple countries. In the future, there is even the possibility of creating a single payment system that will work across countries, retailers and currencies, using a single device storing the user's card details. This will create a smooth purchasing experience for users travelling anywhere in the world.
One of the final announcements surrounding Apple Pay at WWDC was that the ecosystem will soon support loyalty cards, enabling consumers to earn points with the purchases they make using the system. Apple has designed the platform in such a way that when the user activates Apple Pay, it automatically recognises the outlet and immediately brings up the relevant loyalty card.
The hedgehog lab team is very excited about the arrival of Apple Pay in the UK, both to use as consumers and to implement into various apps in our role as mobile app developers.