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Apple Pay hits the UK, so how good is it?

Now I suppose this is where a real journalist would declare his interests in Apple, so here it goes, I am a Fanboi to the core, laptop, phone, tablet (resisted the urge for an Apple Watch) I am in love with the whole ecosystem, and how everything just “works” together, so when Apple Pay was finally released in the UK, of course I was going to try it.

I have been a user of contactless technology with my debit card for a while now, and on the whole it just works, place your card near the reader and any purchases up to £20 are authorised, yes there is the risk that if someone else gets your card they can make transactions, but I feel confident the £20 limit is enough for me to take the risk that I am not going to get hammered for £1000’s worth of gadgets (being drunk and on eBay is another matter, but I only have myself to blame for that one) even when it rises to £30 later this year.

Apple Pay brings back a sense of security with the old adage of “TFA” or Two-Factor Authentication, something you have and something you know, well kind of. The something you have will be your iPhone, iPad (although not sure how practical it would be to place your iPad on an oyster card reader at the middle of rush hour when getting on the tube) or the Apple Watch, the second “something you know” releases a PIN code with your fingerprint using the devices biometric reader, this gives me the added sense of security that someone else can’t make payments, it would also put me at ease lifting the limit of £20 per transaction. My first impression was mixed, firstly the member of staff at my local Co-op was unsure if they accepted the new form of payment, but we tried and although it was not as simple as just placing my card on the reader the added hassle was mitigated by the added security, once you get the hang of using it one handed, holding and placing the device while also touching the biometric sensor it was quick and easy enough.

I hope this will be the kick start that will see contactless technology utilised more, the number of institutes who have signed up to Apple Pay have some noticeable absentees (HSBC and Barclays being the biggest two) and also I would like to see more smaller retailers taking contact less payments as they are the typical places I would spend small amount transactions which is covered by the £20/£30 limit on contactless payments. In conclusion love them or hate them, Apple might not invent the wheel, but they sure do know how to revitalise for a wider audience.

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