Apple Pay data demands add tension to UK launch

Apple Pay is set to launch in the UK in the first half of 2015, but banks are concerned as to how much data Apple demands as part of its contactless payment service, insiders claims. Revealed as a feature of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus earlier this year, Apple Pay – which uses a combination of NFC and a secure digital wallet chip on the smartphones – has already gained traction in the US, with everything from grocery shopping through clothes and even hotel rooms and Disney trips now supporting the service. However, although the spread of Apple Pay to other countries is effectively inevitable, Apple is said to be still facing some push-back from its banking partners over the fine print.

On the one hand, The Telegraph reports, the big UK banks are hoping that Apple Pay finally represents the arrival of ubiquitous mobile payments. That's something several companies – including some banks themselves – have attempted in the past, but generally failed to gain traction with.

Apple has a strong record of doing just that sort of segment shake-up, though it generally comes at a cost. In this case, that's believed to be the degree of customer data Apple requires from banks in return.

It's that, insiders say, which at least one big bank has taken issue with in the UK. The terms of Apple's contract for Apple Pay have been the source of fierce discussion, it's suggested, because the Cupertino firm is demanding personal and financial insights the banks would generally rather keep to themselves.

It's unlikely that the negotiations will prevent Apple Pay from launching – the huge success of the service already at retailers like McDonald's is tempting enough – but they may mean it arrives in the UK later than those involved would have preferred.

Job listings earlier this month suggested Apple was looking far afield for Apple Pay's spread, with a role describing the payment service as "set to expand across Europe, Middle East, India and Africa" advertised.

SOURCE The Telegraph