Apple Pay is a great way of letting customers pay for purchases, but UK law means it won’t transform bricks and mortar retail that much after its launch this month.
Like current contactless systems already used in cafés across the UK, payments will be capped at £20. So regardless of how quick, easy and convenient Apple Pay is (tap your iPhone on a reader to pay for something), it won’t really be beneficial for tech retailers at all, unless you’re selling a mouse mat or charger.
It’s been backed by most of the major banks and several big brands including McDonald’s, BP, Marks & Spencer, plus apps from Argos, The Trainline, and more will support it too. But unless the limit is waivered, High Street PC retailers will miss out on being able to offer this.
Apple is not charging retailers a penny for using their new service (PCR understands they will take a percentage of the payment provider’s fee). And of all retailers, tech stores are the ones that consumers would expect to offer Apple Pay, so it’s a missed opportunity.
However, the situation could improve in the future. The UK Cards Association has announced the spending limit on contactless cards is due to rise to £30 in September, and some have suggested certain retailers will be able to get rid of the limit altogether at a later date.
But perhaps Apple didn’t have tech retailers in mind (other than itself). It says Apple Pay is great for the customer ‘whether buying groceries, grabbing coffee, picking up lunch or taking the Tube’. Why am I not surprised?