The £30 limit on contactless payments no doubt hampered the widespread adoption of Apple Pay, the firm’s biometric contactless payment system. With the majority of contactless points of sale in the UK no longer implementing the £30 limit, Apple can expect an increase in the number of people using their system.
Apple’s head of payments, Jennifer Bailey, reportedly said that around 50 per cent of contactless payment terminals in the country can now accept Apple Pay transactions regardless of the amount. This includes major retailers including Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, as well as restaurant chains such as Nando’s and Pizza Express.
According to Apple, it has experienced 300 per cent growth in the use of Apple Pay over the last year.
The removal of the £30 cap from many contactless POS terminals is significant as UK consumers have been able to use contactless bank cards for a number of years already, something which could have had an impact on the number of Apple Pay customers.
When Apple introduced Apple Pay in the UK in 2015, it inherited the £30 cap. This was in spite of the extra security layer provided by a fingerprint biometric required when using Apple Pay. The company hopes that the increasing support for limitless transactions at points of sale will boost the use of its own payment technology.
Until all tills have been upgraded, consumers will still be in a position whereby it is not obvious beforehand whether a particular POS can handle higher value transactions or not.
Another point for Apple to ponder is that conventional payment companies are not standing by idly while Apple Pay increases its market share. Rather, their competitors are implementing their own commission-charging payment technology. MasterCard, for example, is currently testing bank cards with fingerprint readers embedded and intends to combine contactless bank cards with fingerprint readers in the future.
Apple is nevertheless proceeding with its plans. Only last week it introduced the contactless payment system in Italy — Apple Pay’s sixteenth international market.
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