Barclays Finally Supports Apple Pay in UK

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All major U.K. banks now support Apple Pay as Barclays finally went live this week.

Gone are the days of digging for a wallet or dropping change everywhere: Instead, an iDevice and your fingerprint are enough to make in-store (and in-app) purchases.

Make sure your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch is running the most up-to-date version of iOS, then open the Wallet app and follow the instructions to add a credit or debit card.

To pay, folks with an iPhone 6 or later can hold their handset near the card reader, with a finger on the Touch ID button. Similarly, those sporting an Apple Watch just double-click the side button and hold the display to the reader. A subtle vibration and beep confirm payment.

On the iPad, payments only work only with in-app payments; select "Buy with Apple Pay" and use Touch ID to settle.

Payments are charged to the default card in the Wallet app, though users can switch between cards with the flick of a finger. Easily access the last 10 Apple Pay payments, including merchant details, under Transaction History in Wallet.

The service is compatible with most major credit cards—Visa, MasterCard, American Express—as well as top U.K. banks—MBNA, Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, and Ulster Bank.

Former holdout Barclays, meanwhile, also offers its own 'bPay' program, with three contactless payment options—a wristband, key fob, and sticker—for purchases of £20 or less.

Launched in the U.S. in October 2014 with the iOS 8.1 update, Cupertino's mobile payment service reached the U.K. in July, with more than 250,000 official retail locations across Britain, including London's Tube, bus, and rail networks.

Rival Google introduced its own option, dubbed Android Pay, which require users to unlock their phone, then wave it over a terminal before an alert confirms payment.

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