We normally reserve our blog to posts about Mac hardware However, the big Apple news this week is that Apple Pay was launched in the UK on Tuesday.
This means that for the first time you will be able to pay for goods and services using your iPhone or Apple Watch.
The service was launched in the US last October and will be available for those who have an iPhone 6, 6 Plus or the Watch. These devices must be running iOS 8.1 or later and you will not be able to use Apple Pay if you have an iPhone 5 or earlier. This is because you need the near field communication (NEC) chips that come in the latest devices.
8 of the major UK banks are supporting Apple Pay, with more coming on line in the Autumn. Only Barclays has failed to reach an agreement with Apple, although talks are still on going. Initially, a maximum payment of £20 will be allowed although this will be increased to £30 come September.
Apple Pay will effectively remove the need for a Pin number and it will be a similar process to paying with a contactless debit card. On the iPhone Apple Pay will automatically wake up when you near a card reader. Using the Touch ID sensor that is built into the home button your identity will be verified and payment will be completed. On the Watch double tapping the side buttons selects your stored cards and holding your Apple Watch up to the card reader will complete the payment. On both the iPhone and the Apple Watch the device will beep and vibrate to confirm payment has been made.
Passport will be the App used to store your credit card details (although this will be called Wallet in iOS 9) and you will be able to add, delete or change your default card as you please. Also Passport will not keep a detailed list of your transactions, only your most recent purchases.
Safety is obviously a big issue for customers and Apple have stressed that customer card details will not be held on their devices or on Apple servers. Instead the device allocates an encrypted Device Account Number to each card. Should your device ever be lost or stolen you can suspend Apple Pay remotely or wipe it via Find my iPhone.