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Apple Pay to be Limited in the UK to only US$31 per Transaction

1 AF 55 Apple Pay keynote

According to the BBC, Major UK banks, apart from Barclays (who is "vaguely" in talks with Apple), have announced that they will offer the new Apple Pay system. So, too, will many retailers. Apple Pay allows owners of an iPhone 6 or an Apple watch to pay by touching their devices on contactless pads. But there's a very strange cap being put on Apple Pay that we didn't hear about during yesterday's WWDC Keynote.


Interestingly and not commonly known to date is that UK banks have told the BBC that payments will be capped at £20 (US $31) similar to existing contactless payments. The limit on contactless debit and credit cards is due to rise to £30 (US$46) in September. While that is likely to be the limit for most Apple Pay transactions, it is thought that agreements with some retailers may allow for higher payments too.


However, a spokesperson for MasterCard told the BBC that "The majority of terminals will work to a £20 (US$31) cap, whether with a debit or credit card, or a contactless device."


Yet rival card provider Visa said many retailers would be hoping to offer higher value transactions as soon as possible. More specifically, a Visa spokeswoman clearly told the BBC that "Not all retailers will have the limit at launch - and there will be others who will choose to get rid of it all together in time." Higher transaction limits are partly possible because Apple Pay is thought to offer greater protection against fraud.


Apple Pay also allows customers to pay online, by using finger print technology. Retailers including Marks and Spencer and Waitrose have announced they will offer the service when it launches.


London Underground/Tube (subway), for example, said that visitors from the United States who are registered with Apple will already be able to use their phones to pay for tube journeys. Interestingly for statistics sake, contactless journeys on buses and the Tube in London accounts for 17% of all such transactions in the UK.



Apple's press release specifically states that "Apple Pay will support UK credit and debit cards from American Express, MasterCard and Visa Europe, issued by many of the UK’s most popular banks, including first direct, HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide Building Society, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank. Other major issuing banks will follow by this fall, including Bank of Scotland, Coutts, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, MBNA, M&S Bank and TSB Bank." More information about Apple Pay in the UK could be found here. You could also find more on the story overall at the BBC.


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