Apple Inc. May Announce Apple Pay for UK at WWDC 2015

Apple Inc

Apple Inc. may announce Apple Pay for U.K. at WWDC 2015, its annual developers meeting that will start tomorrow, June 8. On its kick off keynote at Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, it plans to talk about Apple Pay support in U.K., reports The Telegraph. The mobile payment is said to come live in the United Kingdom in two months.

Senior VP Mike Cowan, of MasterCard, shared to the publication that they are willing to support Apple Pay abroad. 9to5Mac also heard that Lloyds TSB and Santander UK will likely support as well. When pushed through, the U.K. will be Apple Pay’s first international expansion.

Apple Inc. introduced its contactless payment system last year, but for now is only running in the United States. Data in the U.S. shows that some remain skeptical about the mobile pay service. Apple Pay allows shoppers to make payments by waiving their Apple Inc. mobile devices, like iPad, iPhone or Apple Watch, over a contactless payment terminal. The system only works when agreements have been forged with credit card firms and banks. Hence, Apple must have those agreements in each country.

There were reports last year that the Cupertino firm’s mobile payment feature will go live in Great Britain in the first half of the 2015 year. 9to5Mac also reported about the built-in ties of Apple Pay in Canada, especially for the iOS 9 iPhone OS. It looks like the launch in Canada will be this fall. WWDC 2015 will also debut Apple Pay rewards program. The Cupertino company plans to bring the payment feature to China later. This month, iTunes Radio will also make its way to the U.K.

Apple Inc. may announce Apple Pay for U.K. at WWDC 2015 and bring the service to more countries before competitors do. While Apple does not want to confine its contactless mobile payment in the U.S., it will make its way to make a big change in the payments industry. Major banks and mobile operators had attempted to operate mobile payments in Britain, but did not make it due to consumer indifference and industry infighting.

Apple Inc. launched Apple Pay in the U.S. in October and sources said, has been negotiating with retailers and banks for its payment service. The Silicon Valley company is said to have the favor of both consumers and industry. Even if it is a big smartphone maker, Apple had still to convince the U.S. for mobile payments where contactless payment terminals are rare. Retailer loyalty schemes also demand support from Apple Pay.

According to The Telegraph, 40 percent of smartphones sold in the U.K. are iPhones and these Apple phone owners are most likely big-spending consumers. Apple Pay is already used in London transport in the capital travel from American tourists. The needed infrastructure is already in place for Apple Pay in the U.K. since contactless credit and debit payment tech is ready. The iPhone comes with a wireless microchip of contactless payment cards so that Apple Pay users can save their details and wave the phone over a terminal to pay.

Industry analyst Thomas Husson at Forrester, said what Apple Inc. announce will later help determine if its payment service “moves from the nice-to-have bucket to the must-have bucket” for merchants and shoppers alike.

Reuters reports that less than 24 percent of U.S. top retailers support Apple Pay. In the U.K., contactless spending tripled last year to £2.3 billion, said The Telegraph. This gives Apple Inc.’s payment feature high hopes, and the Cupertino company may announce Apple Pay for the U.K. at WWDC 2015. If implemented, the payment feature will be at 350,000 payment terminals in the country from day one.

By Judith Aparri

Sources:
9to5mac: Apple Pay for U.K. announcement could happen at WWDC, launch within 2 months
The Telegraph: Apple poised to bring Apple Pay to UK
The Independent: WWDC 2015: Apple Pay finally coming to UK
GSM Arena: Apple Pay tipped to arrive in the United Kingdom this summer

Photo courtesy of Jason Tester Guerrilla Futur‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Your Thoughts?