Apple Pay launched in the UK in July, and we've been trying out the mobile payment system on an Apple Watch to see how easy it is to set up and use.
Not all Apple Watch owners can use Apple Pay. You need to bank with one of the banks currently supporting the mobile payments system - HSBC, First Direct, NatWest, Nationwide Building Society, RBS, Santander, Ulster Bank and MBNA - or have an American Express, MasterCard or Visa issued by the credit card providers.
If you're one of the lucky few, you can go ahead and set up your payment card, but you'll need your iPhone to do this.
Setting up the card should be a straightforward process. You just open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and click through to the Passbook & Apple Pay section. Click 'Add Credit or Debit Card' and you'll be able to hold the phone over your payment card to store the details using the inbuilt scanner.
Once you've completed this step, you need to verify the card details by requesting an SMS or email with a one-time code or calling the issuing bank.
We requested an email, which came through in seconds, and as soon as we entered the one-time code within the 30 minute window, our card was stored in the Passbook app on the Apple Watch.
You can save multiple cards into Passbook to use with Apple Pay, and the app will default to the first one you saved in originally. You can change this by visiting the same section in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, and changing your default card.
If you're trying to pay with a card not accepted in a certain store or app, such as American Express, you'll be able to pass payment over to the next card in your Passbook.
Hitting the shops
There are already more than 250,000 locations accepting Apple Pay, according to Apple. You can see the whole list on the Apple Pay site.
Apple Pay is supported in most shops in exactly the same way as contactless payments, meaning there's a £20 limit. This will rise to £30 in September as the contactless limit also rises. We tested Apple Pay on the Apple Watch at Tesco, Co-op and Marks & Spencer, with mixed results.
M&S is one of a small number of retailers said to accept high-value transactions, meaning there should be no limit on the amount you can spend.
Pay and go
Once you've picked your items and queued at the tills, just choose to pay via contactless and double click the side button on your Apple Watch. This will let you choose which card you want to pay with.
Then hold the device over the payment terminal in the same way you would a payment card. You'll need to tap the reader with the Apple Watch screen for payment to go through.
We tried paying for low-value items in Tesco and Co-op, but our efforts were initially thwarted. Even though both stores accept American Express, we were unable to pay with our Amex card set up on the Apple Watch. Once we switched to Visa, the payments went through.
We encountered similar problems in M&S. The Apple Pay logo was displayed on the card reader, which is supposed to indicate a store that supports high-value, limitless transactions. However, our transaction of £35 would not go through using any of the cards set up with our Apple Watch.
The shop assistants - by this time we had quite a crowd of M&S staffers keen to see how the Apple Watch actually worked - were insistent that Apple Pay actually supports only up to £30, which was written on the board upstairs, so they told us.
So the next attempts saw some of my items being removed and trying to pay for £25 worth of goods. Again, failure. This was then reduced to under the standard contactless amount of £20, but by then the card reader had clearly given up, and our patience had run out.
Fortunately M&S redeemed itself in the food hall, when I was able to pay for a £4 item using the Apple Watch, with no glitches.
M&S has since been in touch to verify that the current limit in store is £20 on all Apple Pay transactions, and that the retailer is currently looking at increasing to high-value contactless payments in line with the planned national increases to £30 in the autumn.
So, mixed results for Apple Pay on the Apple Watch. It's incredibly simple to set up, and using it in store is definitely quicker than fishing around in your pocket or bag for a purse or wallet and then finding your payment card, as you can just tap your watch on the reader.
But it seems a bit hit and miss at present as to which payment cards and payment amounts are supported, and stores that should be accepting Apple Watch payments don't always seem to be doing so.
To see Apple Pay in action, check out our video of the mobile payment system on an iPhone 6.
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