Apple is always at the forefront of technology, leading the way when it comes to software, design and  build. And this year is no different, with Apple revealing not only two new iPhones, but also a smartwatch. Now, Apple Pay has just been launched in the UK. Still not sure how the innovative new feature impacts you? We’ve got your back.

What is Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a very simple concept where payments can be made with a single touch of a button both within stores and apps. Gone are the days of searching your wallet for your debit or credit cards as this contactless payment technology takes care of payments for you.

Simple, secure and private, Apple Pay uses your iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad to make payments from your Visa card, MasterCard, or American Express card. Unique security features are built into the Apple devices that you have with you everyday and one touch to pay is all that is needed thanks to Touch ID.

There is no need to open an app or even wake up you Apple device as the Near Field Communication (NFC) antenna makes the connection for you. There is also no need to look at your device to see if payment has been successful as a subtle beep and vibration confirms a successful transaction.

Apple Pay can be used in thousands of stores including Disney Stores, Foot Locker, McDonald’s, Nike, Subway, Toys’R’us and many more. So, it’s time to get to grips with contactless payments, this guide tells you everything you need to know.

How does Apple Pay work?

A new side to Passbook

Passbook already stores your tickets, boarding passes and coupons securely in one place, but now it is time to go one step further and store your credit and debt cards as well.

It’s really easy to add your debit or credit card from your iTunes account into Passbook by entering the card security code. The card stored in iTunes is the default card but this can be changed in the settings if you wish.

To add a card to your iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 simply go to the settings, open Passbook & Apple Pay and then select the ‘Add Credit or Debit Card’ option. The iPhone offers an alternative setup option where you may open Passbook, swipe down and tap the plus sign and then use the iSight camera to capture the card details automatically or alternatively enter them manually.

Paying within apps

Paying within apps has never been easier and Apple Pay gives you a convenient checkout on the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

Now you can pay with just one touch within apps at the checkout. Simply select Apple Pay and place your finger on Touch ID.

Using Apple Pay with the Apple Watch

Apple Pay is fully compatible with your Apple Watch (scheduled for an early 2015 launch) and it only takes a double click to pay and go.

To make a payment simply double click the button next to the Digital Crown and hold the watch near to the contactless reader.

You may like: The Apple Watch is one of the most customisable smartwatches on the market. Learn more about the other Apple Watch features here.

Secure Payments with Apple Pay

Privacy and security combined

It is quite understandable that new payment technology is accompanied by security concerns but nothing could be further from secure when it comes to contactless payment. In fact it’s safer than paying paying with your debit or credit card!

Instead of using your actual card numbers to pay, a unique Device Account Number is assigned to you which is encrypted and stored securely on the Secure Element chip inside your Apple device. Your card numbers are not stored on Apple servers and the cashier never gets to see your card numbers, name or security code like they would when you pay traditionally with your card.

When you make a payment the Device Account Number and a transaction-specific dynamic security code is used to process the payment. Your card numbers are never shared by Apple with the merchant or transmitted with the payment.

Your latest transaction information is only stored in Passbook and not with Apple- plus if your device is lost or stolen you can use Find My iPhone to put it into Lost Mode and suspend Apple Pay or completely wipe the device.

Verdict

Apple Pay is easy to set up and once completed you will enjoy a new level of convenience when you need to pay in store or for an in-app purchase. Simply look out for the logos below to see where you can use this contactless payment feature.

Looking to get hold of an Apple device? Check out our Apple Shop, featuring everything from iPhones to iPads!