Apple ramps up pressure on rivals with Tap to Pay UK launch
With Apple set to take an even bigger bite out of UK in-person transaction volumes, rival providers of payment technology will be looking to up their game.
The launch last month of Apple’s Tap to Pay contactless payments technology in the UK is set to shake up the competitive landscape for in-person payment options. Apple’s move enables businesses to accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, from customers using an iPhone and a partner-enabled iOS app.
A survey of UK consumers published in late July by card payment services provider Takepayments found that Apple Pay and contactless payments had overtaken cash payments as the preferred way to pay in-store.
There are an estimated 1.4 billion iPhone users in the world, all of whom now have the ability to become merchants
With the cost of point-of-sale (PoS) devices preventing many smaller merchants from accepting cards, the UK should be fertile ground for the new service. The requirement for a merchant account with an accredited payment provider should also encourage more small businesses to sell online.
“To put this in context, it took Visa and Mastercard more than 15 years to get to around 115 million merchants using classic terminals,” notes Jim McCarthy, EVP at payments platform Thredd.