How to Set Up Apple Pay in the UK

By James O Malley on at

Today is the day. Apple Pay has finally launched in the UK, so it's time to get setup! You'll need an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to pay in shops with Apple Pay (once setup it will work with the Apple Watch too), but you can also use Apple Pay to pay for stuff in apps if you have an iPad Air 2 or iPad Mini 3.

Before you start learning how to set up Apple Pay, you'll need several things already setup, including TouchID and iCloud. You'll also need to be running the latest version of iOS, which is 8.3. You'll also need your bank to be one of the banks that officially support Apple Pay (see below).

Apple Pay: How to Set it Up

Here's how to set up Apple Pay. With these steps you can set up as many cards as you like:

  1. Go into Passbook
  2. Hopefully you'll see a massive "Add Credit or Debit Card" button at the top of the screen. Press it. Top-Tip: If you don't see it yet, change your region to the US in Settings (go to General -> Language & Region), you should then see the Apple Pay setup when you go back into Passbook. Once you've set it up, you can simply change it back.
  3. Your phone will remember your card number from your Apple account if you already have it setup, so you just need to provide the 3-digit verification code from the back of your card. If not, you can add a new card really easily by using your phone's camera to take a photo of your card.
  4. You will now have to verify your card with your bank. The easiest way to do this is with a text message; just enter the code that is sent into passbook and it'll activate the card. Alternatively, you can call you bank and have the bank activate it manually.
  5. You'll get a text message when your bank has activated the card.
  6. If you go into Settings -> Passbook & Apple Pay, you can add a shipping address, email address and phone number that will be sent to retailers.

How to set up Apple Pay

Which UK Banks Support Apple Pay?

Launch partners include American Express, HSBC, Nationwide, NatWest, RBS, Santander, and Ulster Bank. If you're with a number of other banks, including Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, TSB, M&S Bank, and MBNA you'll have to wait until later this year.

Despite earlier announcements they would be available on launch day, it appears that HSBC, First Direct and Halifax customers pay have to wait a little while longer to participate. As far as HSBC (and presumably First Direct, which is owned by it) are concerned, the wait appears to be until later this month.

If you're with Barclays or the Co-op bank, then you'll have to hope they change their minds, as both are yet to announce support for Apple Pay.

Which UK Shops Support Apple Pay?

Apple has announced the following merchants should support Apple Pay from today:

Apple itself (surprise!), Bill's, Boots, BP, Costa, KFC, Le Pain Quotidien, Liberty, Lidl, M&S, McDonalds, Nandos, Post Office, Pret, Spar, Starbucks, Subway, Co-op Food (Yeah, even though the bank won't support Apple Pay), TfL, Wagamamas and Waitrose.

Many more will be joining later including Costcutter, Eat, Five Guys, JD Sports, New Look, ScrewFix and Wilko.

A number of apps will also support Apple Pay. Happy shopping.