Apple Pay has officially launched across the pond. Tuesday, local time, Apple Inc. took the wraps off the details of its mobile payment system expansion in the United Kingdom.
For now, eight banks will support Apple Pay in the European country, including American Express, First Direct, HSBC, Nationwide, Natwest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster bank. Several retailers and vendors will also support Apple Pay, including BP, McDonalds, Boots, Marks & Spencer and Transport for London.
Additional support is expected from the Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Bank and others in the coming months. Missing from that group is Barclays, which offers a contact-free payment system of its own, called bPay. However, on Friday, a Barclays executive was cited saying the bank would “imminently” support Apple Pay, according to MacRumors.
The mobile payment service works similarly to its U.S. counterpart, enabling iPhone 6 and Apple Watch owners to pay with their devices. But its main difference is some transactions with it may be limited to 20 British pounds -- a limit currently in place for most contact-free card payments in the U.K., according to the BBC.
Apple Pay originally launched in the U.S. in October, one month after the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus went on sale.
In addition to the U.K. launch, Apple is expected to expand Apple Pay to other countries, including Canada and China. In Canada, Apple was reportedly in talks with some of its largest banks, such as the Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank and the Bank of Nova Scotia. In China, Apple’s negotiations involved the People’s Bank of China and UnionPay -- the country’s credit card network.
Apple is also expected to update Apple Pay with iOS 9 in the fall by adding support for loyalty, reward and store-branded payment cards.