Barclays Bank has bowed to the inevitable and joined the rest of the UK's biggest banks in introducing Apple Pay support.
The big UK bank has been a reluctant stand out against the Apple Pay hype machine, instead launching its own range of wearables and jumping on board with the Zapp mobile commerce system from VocaLink.
But a change in policy was signalled three months ago by in a tweet sent by Ashok Vaswarni, head of the bank's personal and corporate banking division, in response to a customer query.
The introduction of Apple Pay for Barclaycard and Barclays customers gives millions more UK consumers the ability to make payments using iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad at over 400,000 contactless locations in the UK, across the London transport network as well as when shopping within participating retailers’ apps.
Amer Sajed, interim CEO of Barclaycard, says: “With Barclaycard and Barclays bringing Apple Pay to our customers, we can now offer the widest choice of ways to make and take payments in a way that’s most convenient for them.”
Despite the capitulation, Barclays has yet to confirm support for the imminent launch of rival service Android Pay in the UK, preferring instead to go it alone with its own Barclaycard app which includes support for HCE-based NFC mobile payments.
The roll out coincides with the release of new research from analytics outfit Aimia indicates that consumer appetite for digital wallets in Europe is growing. The findings show almost a third (31%) of the more than 24000 Europeans surveyed say they are likely to use a digital wallet on their mobile device, five percent up on the previous year.
Italy is leading the way, with nearly half (47%) of consumers likely to use digital wallets, followed closely by Spain (35%). Uptake is lowest in Germany (19%) and France (22%), with both markets having seen little movement in attitudes since a year ago. The UK sits firmly in the middle with just under a third (29%) of people saying they are likely to use digital wallets.