The 400 pound Gorilla of mobile payments has reached the shores of Blighty and there is no doubt its going to change the way we pay for things.
Today marks the day that Apple Pay finally hits the UK stores. Many companies such as Costa are emailing customers to let them know they now accept Apple Pay. America had more reason to be excited than the UK as contactless payment really hasn’t taken off until Apple Pay arrived.We’ve had contactless payments on many bank cards for years now in the UK although I rarely see people using the feature. So before you rush to set up Apple Pay stop for a moment and see if your bank card already has this feature. That will take you zero time to set up. Simply hold your card above the reader and as long as it’s under £20 your done and you’ll be handed your receipt. You can even pay for your Tube ride in London using it just make sure you tap on the way out or you’ll pay a lot more! Plus if you drop your card it’s not going to shatter into tiny pieces of glass.
Where Apple Pay really comes into its own is using the Apple Watch. Watching people using it looks more frictionless although you still need two hands to trigger it. You need to double tap the side button to bring up your bank card of choice to pay with. Watch the video from Apple below on how to get set up
Whilst Apple will likely run away with this, other companies want a piece of the action with Jawbone announcing the UP4 in the USA with mobile payments. It seems however a very half-baked solution in that you must have an American Express card for this to work. You can only have one card linked and you can’t change this once it’s linked. Also in the T&C is the bizarre statement “The ability to use your UP4 band to make payments expires as early as 7/31/2019”. This seems to be telling you from the outset there is no guarantee this feature will be supported beyond this date. If you happen to have the right card and wanted a Jawbone anyway then its a nice added bonus but it seems this will have very limited appeal beyond what the Jawbone offers anyway. I had the chance to review the Jawbone UP24 for GP Magazine which was enjoyable but not without problems. You can read the article here.
Whilst android has many watches now I think most android users are waiting patiently to see what the Moto 360 version 2 has to offer. Once this arrives maybe Apple will face some competition but right now there really isn’t any in the wearables with payments sector.