Belfast Telegraph

Apple Pay comes to Northern Ireland: Ulster Bank, HSBC and Santander customers will be among first to use iPhones to make contactless payments in shops

By Claire Cromie

Apple Pay will arrive in Northern Ireland next month, with Ulster Bank customers among the first in the UK to use the mobile payment system.

The technology giant confirmed at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that it will enable iPhone users to swiftly pay for items by touching their phones to contactless payment points.

Near-field communication (NFC) chips embedded in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch are scanned by card readers.

Around 18,000 Ulster Bank customers will be eligible when it launches in July.

Most major banks have signed up for the scheme - including HSBC, Santander, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest, RBS and First Direct. Halifax, Lloyds, MBNA, M&S Bank, Bank of Scotland, Coutts and TSB Bank will join the system in autumn.

And it can be used in these shops:

  • Boots
  • BP
  • Costa
  • Dune
  • JD Sports
  • KFC
  • Liberty
  • Lidl
  • M&S
  • McDonalds
  • Nando's
  • New Look
  • Pret
  • Post Office
  • Spar
  • Starbucks
  • Subway
  • Waitrose
  • Wagamama

Users are assured their security and privacy are protected by the new technology. When you add a credit or debit card to Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers.

Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on your device.

Each transaction is authorised with a one-time unique dynamic security code, instead of using the security code from the back of your card.

"We will launch with eight of the most popular banks, more coming this fall," said Apple's Jennifer Bailey.

It was also confirmed that as well as in stores such as Boots and Marks & Spencer, Apple Pay will work on the London transport system as an alternative to the Oyster card.

Ulster Bank introduced Touch ID on its mobile app earlier this year, where customers can open the Ulster Bank, NatWest and RBS mobile iOS apps just using a fingerprint, and Get Cash, where customers can withdraw money from an ATM without a bank card by using a text code generated by their mobile banking app.

The rumoured introduction of rewards cards into Apple Pay was also confirmed, with the Passbook app being renamed Wallet, and will now house credit cards and reward cards being held in one place.

In stores, Apple Pay works with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. When paying for goods and services within apps, Apple Pay is compatible with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

The firm also unveiled its much-rumoured music streaming service at the conference, Apple Music.

Belfast Telegraph