Update: Apple Pay is now available. But in a last minute change, Apple has removed HSBC and First Direct from its list of participating banks and they are now listed as "coming soon". We captured this image less than 24 hours ago which showed both these financial institutions as participating banks. One of our readers, Mitch got in contact with HSBC and they told him that support had been delayed by 2 weeks due to "some issues". We understand that HSBC and First Direct will support Apple Pay on July 24. One other minor change is that MBNA, which was previously listed as "coming soon" is now listed as a participating bank.
After weeks of speculation, The Telegraph reports that Apple Pay will be available today in the UK. The UK is the second country to support Apple Pay, following the initial launch in the United States in late October 2014. Earlier today, several users on Twitter began noticing Apple Pay setup screens on their iPhones, suggesting that Apple was getting ready to roll out the service.
The Telegraph quoted VP of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey:
“In America we’re not as advanced in using contactless as the UK, we’re only transitioning to chip and pin now,” she said. “Today there’s virtually no contactless from a card perspective - Apple Pay is the first contactless for the most part.”