Lloyds Banking Group now offers Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland account holders’ access to Apple Pay. The announcement comes two months after the first UK high street banks confirmed their roll out of the smart payment method.

Apple Pay requires iPhone 6 and 6Plus owners to verify by touch their fingerprint before tapping the device’s NFC enabled screen onto a retailer’s card terminal. This will prompt Apple software to allow the pre-registered debit or credit card to authorise the payment.

In a slight contrast, Apple Watch owners simply double tap their wearable’s side button then hold their device up to the card reader. This will authorise the payment for a receipt up to £30, which is the new contactless payment limit for UK shoppers. However, as Apple Pay biometric ID authentication satisfies the verification level equivalent to Chip and Pin, retailers have the choice to set limitless transactions. Food and drink retailers Pret a Manger and Bills Restaurant accept Apple Pay transactions for any amount.

The iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 can be used to make in-app purchases with Apple Pay.

In terms of security, Apple Pay will not store the customer’s card details on the device or in Apple’s system. Instead, each transaction is assigned a unique Device Account Number. This is encrypted and held in the Secure Element of the Apple device.
Stephen Noakes, managing director retail customer products, Lloyds Banking Group said: "We are delighted to be able to offer our millions of customers Apple Pay.

"The way consumers fulfil their banking needs is changing, as our customers want to bank and transact on the go – offering Apple Pay utilises the latest technology to respond to this ever increasing demand."

Research from MasterCard has found a 560% increase in contactless payments for the twelve months prior to August 2015. This is compared to the 373% increase for the twelve months to July 2014. The acceleration is set to rise again due to the contactless expenditure limit increase in September 2015.

Lloyds Banking Group is the latest high street bank to offer Apple Pay services in the UK, with more expected to offer the service as consumer adoption increases.

Banks that have supported Apple Pay since its British launch date (July 14 2015) are Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Ulster Bank and MBNA. However HSBC and First Direct did not offer Apple Pay until July 28 2015.

Presently the only major British bank that has not partnered with Apple Pay is Barclays. Although the bank that offers its customers and non-account holders the bPay wearable range concedes it may introduce Apple’s payment service "in future".

Lloyds Banking Group customers have been assured that rewards and benefits associated with their cards will still be issued regardless of whether they use Apple Pay or not.