With the release of the Apple Pay in the UK, people may be wondering what types of contactless payment services are available. The convenience of paying with the touch of your mobile at many local retailers makes shopping a breeze. Not everyone prefers the latest Apple devices, so if you have an Android based phone, you need to explore your options. The following contactless payment methods are already available throughout the UK; expect Android Pay and Samsung Pay to enter the marketplace in the near future.
Apple Pay arrived in the UK on 14 July, and has already been supported by many of the high street banks. To use this service, you need to have an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, or Apple Watch. You add your card information to the PassBook app then hold your device to the contactless payment reader at the shop to make your payment, which is limited to £20 purchases. You can also pay for in-app purchases on many participating apps. Apple pay is also accepted for TFL travel, though you want to make sure your device is fully charged throughout the trip. Apple fans will welcome the opportunity to conveniently pay with their favourite Apple products.
Barclays was one bank that was noticeably absent on Apple Pay’s launch day. The reason for their hesitation but eventual support was because they already offer their own contactless payment service, bPay. You have three options for using bPay: a wristband, a keychain fob, or a sticker. Paired with the matching phone app, you can reload your bPay account up to £200 at any time. The wristband acts similarly to the Apple Watch, by tapping the contactless payment reader to pay for your purchase, as does the key fob. The sticker can be attached to any device or phone case and then you tap as usual. While the sticker is bPay’s most creative option, it also brings security concerns, as it could possibly be removed from the device without anyone noticing. However, the lower price makes bPay a great alternative to Apple Pay, and accessible to many more consumers.
EE Cash on Tap
While Apple and Barclays fight it out as relative newcomers, EE has offered Cash on Tap for its subscribers for considerably longer. Available on its selection of EE phones, you can pay anywhere that displays the contactless payment symbol. In order to activate Cash on Tap, you must have a Near Field Communication (NFC) SIM card in your mobile, which must be one of the compatible models offered by EE. EE will replace your SIM card with an NFC model if necessary. Once you add the Tap Wallet app to your mobile, along with your card details, you will be ready to go shopping. Backed by MasterCard, Cash on Tap has won many payment awards, testifying to its success. If you are already an EE customer, it is worth giving Cash on Tap a try.
Vodaphone offers a similar contactless payment service for their customers, the SmartPass. With a compatible smartphone and SIM card, you can sign up for SmartPass. In the sign up packet, you will receive a SmartPass tag and companion card. You place the tag on the outside of your mobile case, and tap it at the shops. The companion card lets you use your SmartPass account at retailers that do not accept contactless payments, which is a convenient addition. Simply add your bank card details to the downloaded Vodaphone Wallet app, and you can make payments almost anywhere.
With so many options available, it is in your best interest to try one or more of them. Competition among service providers usually means excellent benefits to their customers. The speed and convenience of contactless payments can make your day much smoother. If you have been waiting to give contactless payment a try, you should give it a go soon.