​Barclays finally brings Apple Pay to its customers

Barclays, the last major holdout on Apple Pay in the UK, is finally allowing customers to add bank cards to the iPhone to make contactless payments.

Sandwich chain Pret was one of the first UK retailers to accept Apple Pay with no spending limit.

Image: Pret a Manger

Almost a year after Apple Pay launched in the UK, Barclays is finally letting its customers wave their iPhone and Apple Watch at contactless payment terminals.

Barclays is the last major bank in the UK to hop onboard with Apple Pay. The bank was conspicuously missing from the list of supporting banks at Apple's July UK launch, which coincided with the launch of its own contactless payment wearables under bPay.

Soon after Apple Pay's UK launch the official line from the bank was that it would support Apple's service "in the future", though Barclay's CEO Ashok Vaswani in January reportedly told a customer that it planned on supporting it by late March.

Today's move will allow millions of Barclays customers to add their cards to Apple's system and pay for things at over 400,000 contactless locations in the UK.

Barclays hasn't said what the hold up was on Apple Pay but boasts that it was first to roll out contactless credit cards in the UK, way back in 2007, and that Apple Pay support is about "adding to the existing choice".

"We are passionate about helping customers access services and carry out their day-to-day transactions in the way that suits them. As part of this, we have developed a range of digital innovations that allow people to choose how, when and where they bank and make payments," said Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK.

"Adding to the existing choice, from today both Barclays debit and Barclaycard credit card customers can use Apple Pay to make payments with their Apple device across the UK," he continued.

At the moment though the choice of Barclay's cards that can be used on Apple Pay is limited to Barclays debit cards or an eligible Barclaycard Visa Card.

The next customer choice milestone on the horizon for Barclays is the imminent launch of Android Pay in the UK, which Google announced last month.

Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society have announced early support for Android Pay, while UK's Barclays, RBS, and NatWest are currently missing.

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