Apple Pay: More UK banks jump onboard

HSBC and First Direct now offering Apple's pay-by-smartphone - or smartwatch - service to customers.

Pret is one of the first UK retailers to accept Apple Pay with no spending limit. Image: Pret A Manger

HSBC and First Direct are the latest UK banks to start offering Apple Pay to their customers.

Apple's mobile payment system allows iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch owners to use their devices to pay for goods in stores that accept contactless payments. It also allows some iPhone and iPad users to make in-app payments.

The service launched in the UK earlier this month with banks including mbna, Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, and Ulster Bank. HSBC and First Direct said at the time they would be offering the service later in the month, and announced today that Apple Pay has now started supporting its credit and debit cards.

There are still a number of banks that are yet to support the service, however.

Lloyds Banking Group said it will offer its Lloyds Bank, Halifax, and Bank of Scotland customers access to Apple Pay from autumn this year, while TSB has said it will offer the service "later this year". Barclays, which has its own mobile payment system, has said it will offer the service "in the future".

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