Apple Pay goes live in UK

Just nine months after Apple Pay shook up the mobile payments world in the US, another country has been added to the payment service. Starting today, users of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch can pay for goods and services at more than 250,000 locations in the United Kingdom.

Financial institutions that are on board for the launch in the UK include Ulster Bank, Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Nationwide, First Direct and American Express. Halifax, Lloyds, and Bank of Scotland are expected to join up this fall. HSBC will be adding support later this month, while Barclays -- which originally said it would only support its own contactless payment system called bPay -- now says it will throw its support behind Apple Pay, although it didn't set a time for the rollout to customers. 

For credit card companies, Visa, MasterCard and American Express are lined up to help. Retailers include Boots, Waitrose, Pret, and Transport for London. Now that Apple Pay has been switched on in the UK, it's expected that China, Canada and other large markets will follow soon.