The UK payments industry received a significant boost in the last two days as Apple and VocaLink (operator of the Faster Payments system) announced summer 2015 launch dates for their respective mobile payment services.
Apple Pay will launch in the UK in July with eight of the country’s biggest banks, a host of merchants, and Transport for London (TfL) all supporting it. According to Apple, around 250,000 point-of-sale locations across the country will accept Apple Pay and 70% of the British consumer base owning a credit or debit card will be enabled to use the service.
Commenting on the launch, Ross McEwan, CEO, RBS said,
“Whether on the high street, in a small shop or on the go within apps, Apple Pay offers a simple and secure way to pay. We are pleased to be among the first UK banks to offer this service to our customers.”
Not to be undone, VocaLink announced that this summer will see the launch of its real-time mobile payments system that can be used in store, online and through apps and that importantly will reach virtually all banked consumers in the UK by integrating its system into mobile banking applications and tapping into the Faster Payments rails.
Commenting on the service, Peter Keenan, chief executive, Zapp said,
“We’re delighted to unveil the new Pay by Bank app paymark ahead of our consumer launch. All of our consumer testing shows that it will be extremely effective in giving consumers the confidence that their mobile payment is backed by their trusted bank.”
While each service opens the possibility for mobile payments to take off in the UK, realistically, broad adoption of these services is a number of years away as the use case to switch from cards, particularly contactless cards is minimal. Nonetheless, they represent an important milestone in mobile payments in the UK.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
Read the full Zapp story here
Read the full Apple Pay UK launch story here