A new UK report states that while the iPhone wasn't the first handset that could work like a contactless credit card, it's definitely taken off in the way rival smartphones have not. That's mostly due to the fact that Apple Pay is so easy to use. The good news today is that you can now use HSBC cards. The bank was expected to be a part of Apple Pay from the start, but it's joined two weeks in. Since HSBC is such a big bank – it will be a welcome development for many customers.
The report also noted that Barclays, which originally said it would stick with its own system called "bPay," has now promised it will have Apple Pay compatibility in the future.
The UK report is very favorable to Apple Pay by noting that it's pretty slick and more importantly, it just works. Of course Apple Pay isn't perfect and so there are some initial annoyances like the limit per transaction or that it could be slow to make a transaction.
The report specifically notes that it could be slow when you're using Apple Pay on the Tube or London Buses, for instance. Waiting for the iPhone and card reader to understand each other can take precious seconds. To get round this you can pre-arm your iPhone. As you walk towards the reader you unlock the screen and launch the Passbook app. Then rest your thumb on the Touch ID button. The screen will say "Pay with Touch ID" and then "Hold near Reader to pay". You can do this pre-arming procedure up to 60 seconds before you reach the reader and it improves things considerably. For Apple Watch users it's best to simply double-press the Side Button a few seconds before getting to the reader.