Apple Pay should, theoretically, have an easier time of things in the U.K., where NFC-enabled payment terminals are far more common due to the prevalence of contactless cards. But it also seems to face a unique stumbling block as well. Contactless payments in the U.K are generally capped at £30 ($43), and generally, Apple falls under that limitation.
That, however, has been marked for change for at least a year, and it seems that, with the rollout of newly upgraded payment terminals, the contactless cap hitting Apple Pay is starting to disappear.
The key piece of tech is a new card reader that leverages the Consumer Device Cardholder Verification Method. This technology distinguishes Apple Pay from standard contactless cards and dispenses with the £30 limit.
It is unknown how many retailers in the U.K. have installed the new system, but according to a representative from HSBC, “many major retailers” now use it.
Which ones exactly? Not known. There is no list, meaning the only way to find out if a retailer is able to take the bigger transactions is to try to use Apple Pay for a large purchase and see what happens. If the retailer can do it, the clerk will let a customer make the purchase; if they can't, theoretically, they will inform the customer when they attempt to use Apple Pay.