With half of UK shops now supporting limitless Apple Pay payments, usage is up 300% in the last year, Apple report.
Apple Pay is an app for iPads, iPhones and the Apple Watch which mimics the contactless payments you can make on debit and credit cards.
Instead of tapping their bank card, users hold their phone up to a contactless payment device and use the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to verify the cash amount.
Apple Pay is in direct competition with Google’s Android Pay and Samsung’s newly released Samsung Pay.
The app can also store multiple card details on the same smartphone to help users fine-tune their spending habits.
For many users, the main benefit of the service is the removal of the standard £30 limit for contactless payments.
There’s no limit
The limit for cards – raised from £20 in August 2015 – is in place to stop fraud as debit and credit cards only have one-factor authorization, where the customer doesn’t need to enter a PIN or do any other security check.
But Apple Pay has two-factor authorization thanks to the Touch ID sensor, confirming the person using the card is the one who actually owns it.
Because of this additional security measure, retailers can remove the transaction limit of £30 and treat the Apple Pay method more like a Chip & PIN payment.
Where can I use Apple Pay?
Apple has a list here, but in the main, major supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, and restaurant chains such as Pizza Express and Nando’s now fully support the Apple Pay system.
With increased security and no transaction limit, using a smartphone for payments provides real benefits over using credit and debit cards.
Perhaps the only potentially problematic aspect is running out of battery before you make it to the till.