Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning to launch its Apple Pay service in the UK, making it the first destination for the digital wallet outside the confines of the United States.
The company plans to launch the service over 250 000 retail locations throughout Britain. The service will allow users to make payments using a wireless and cardless system. They will be able to pay for products or services using Apple devices such as the Apple Watch, iPhones or even iPads. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook claims that expanding the services will in turn allow the company to expand its digital footprint and thus creating more value for the firm.
The company has been facing some serious competition in the U.S. market, mainly from the likes of Paypal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPLV) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) among others. Apple users in the UK will now benefit from the cashless system when making simple purchases such as coffee, fuel, food, or even shopping. The company has partnered up with various service providers such as petrol stations, restaurants, convenient stores and others to introduce the easy method of payment.
Eden Zoller, an analyst at Ovum, described the UK as an ideal market for Apple because the country has embraced contactless card terminals more than the US. This means Apple Pay has a high probability of success in the region. The service was launched in the US in October. It uses short range signals known as near field communication (NFC). This technology allows mobile devices that are NFC-enabled to interact with payment readers such as cash registers. It does not function like the contactless cards that are simply waved to make a payment. Users have to click on to various devices to make a successful payment.
Apple Pay will also support American Express debit and credit card, MasterCard, and Visa Europe cards. It will, however, be tough for the company to make an impact in Europe because most people will probably not be comfortable with leaving their cards for mobile payments.