The payment technology has reached another milestone in the U.K. with the announcement from Lloyds Banking Group yesterday (Sept. 14) that it will offer customers of Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands access to Apple Pay.
“We are delighted to be able to offer our millions of customers Apple Pay. The way consumers fulfill their banking needs is changing, as our customers want to bank and transact on the go – offering Apple Pay utilizes the latest technology to respond to this ever increasing demand,” Stephen Noakes, Managing Director of Retail Customer Products at Lloyds Banking Group said in a press release.
According to recent research from Lloyds, almost half (43 percent) of people surveyed viewed contactless payments as the payment method of the future, with many reporting a desire to turn to cards, contactless payments and other new technologies over cash as time progresses.
Nearly 34 percent said they expected to be using mobile devices to make payments on a daily basis within the next five years, Lloyds confirmed.
Since Apple Pay launched in the U.K. around a month ago, the list of major U.K. banks slated to partner with the payment method has continued to expand, including HSBC, First Direct, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank.
While Lloyds Banking Group has now made the move to Apple Pay, there are still many other banks continuing to hold out. Most notably is Barclay’s, which has yet to define how long it will take before its customers will have access to Apple Pay.
Earlier this summer, Lloyds Bank announced it was testing out ways to improve the use of NFC and contactless technology in the registration process for those setting up mobile banking, instead of the traditional phone call.
At the time, the bank reported having nearly 2.5 million active mobile banking customers — with over 1.5 million customers downloading the app — and over 10 million active online banking users. As of July, Lloyds Bank recorded over 1 billion logins to its online banking site in the past 12 months.
With the growing popularity of contactless payments among U.K. consumers, Apple Pay landing a big banking group like Lloyds may help to expand its reach within the region.
The U.K., which first introduced contactless payments in 2007, has seen its popularity surge with the total worth of transactions tripling from £653 million (almost $1 billion) in 2013 to £2.32 billion (roughly $3.6 billion) in 2014, research from Lloyds Bank Cardnet confirmed back in July.