Apple Pay and its war Against the Old Adage “Cash is King”

Apple Pay and its war Against the Old Adage “Cash is King”

Apple recently launched ‘Apple Pay’ in the UK; a new digital payments service designed to rival the likes of PayPal and bPay. With digital payments becoming a reality for most, could this be the end of cash? Let’s take a closer look…

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Apple Pay can now be used in some UK stores to make payments under £20.

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 What is Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a new digital wallet service which gives shoppers the opportunity to pay for a purchase in store using their iPhone or Apple watch and also online with their iPhone or iPad. In store, the digital wallet uses Near Field Communication technology to facilitate contactless payments, which are quicker and more convenient than handing over cash or paying via debit card.

Which devices are compatible with Apple Pay?

One of the great things about Apple Pay is that it can be used to pay for a purchase in store, as well as via apps online. iPhone 6 and Apple Watch owners will be able to make payments in store using Apple Pay, whereas iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and iPhone owners will be able to make payments online with their devices.

How exactly does it work?

Basically you will need to register either a credit card or a debit card with the Passbook application. When using your device in store or via an app, the default card on your system will be automatically charged.

In store – To make a payment in store, all you will need to do is hold your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch up to the contactless reader device and select the Touch ID button.

This will scan your fingerprint and authenticate the payment. Your iPhone or Apple Watch will then vibrate and sound informing you that the payment has gone through successfully.

Online – If you are making a payment online, you will simply need to choose Apple Pay on the checkout page and then touch the ID button. It’s as easy as that!

Are all debit / credit cards compatible with Apple Pay?

Currently Apple Pay can be used with American Express, First Direct, HSBC, MBNA, Nation Wide Building Society, Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland (including Natwest and Ulster Bank).

There is talk that Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, TSB and M&S Bank will soon be joining the digital wallet.


Apple Pay has the potential to replace cash but we don’t think it’s quite ready to be king yet.

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Could it really replace cash?

It’s unlikely that Apple Pay will be replacing cash any time soon, as there is still a long way to go in rolling out the technology across various stores. Currently you can use Apple Pay in Boots, Costa, Lidl, Nando’s, Post Offices, Starbucks and Waitrose.

Contactless technology also has a payment limit of £20 (soon to be £30) so if you are planning on making a more expensive purchase in store, you would need to still have either your cash or a debit / credit card handy.

There are also security worries to consider. Despite requiring a user’s fingerprint to authenticate a payment, many people are still unlikely to feel comfortable using this technology so early on. Yes it’s extremely convenient and saves carrying around cash but as with everything, there’s bound to be questions about its ability to fight off hackers and protect against fraud.


In time, Apple Pay and other digital wallets definitely have the potential to win the war against cash, however until the technology is rolled out in more stores and becomes more innate to shoppers, cash will still remain king.

Image credits: dariorofficiel and HowardLake



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