Apple Pay launched in the UK back in July 2015. With Apple Pay it's possible to pay for goods and services (up to £30) in the UK by tapping your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch to a card reader - presuming you are banking with a bank that supports Apple Pay.

In this article we explain how to set up Apple Pay with your bank account, and how to use Apple Pay to pay for goods and services in the UK.

Related: Apple Pay UK Guide: Where you can use Apple Pay, which banks support Apple Pay, which shops support Apple Pay, how to set up Apple Pay  plus: How to use Apple Wallet

What software do I need to install? Do I need a specific version of iOS?

There isn't a separate Apple Pay app that you need to install, but you may need to update your iPhone or iPad to the latest version of iOS.

In order to use Apple Pay in the UK you need to have iOS 8.3 or later. In the US, on the other hand, iOS 8.1 would be sufficient. This will activate your iPhone's Apple Pay feature.

iOS 9 and above is compatible with Apple Pay too.

How to add credit or debit card details to Apple Pay on the iPhone

As long as your bank is offering Apple Pay, if you have your credit or debit cards already linked to your Apple ID for making iTunes and App Store purchase, you can opt to keep using that card with Apple Pay. If the card you want to use isn't already associated with your Apple ID you can add it.

Either way, launch Wallet and tap Add Credit or Debit Card. You'll be prompted to enter your Apple ID password.

You'll be prompted to add either a credit or debit card to use with Apple Pay. Tap "Add Another Card", then follow the entry fields on the next screen. If the card you're setting up is already associated with iTunes this process will simply require you to enter the security code, but a wholly new card will require a little more work.

How to set up Apple Pay in the UK

If you'd prefer not to type in fiddly numbers you can speed up the process by holding your iPhone over the card so that your iPhone can all the details, which will be added magically (with the exception of a few additional details such as the security code, which you add afterwards).

Agree to the terms and conditions. Tap next. Whether you're using a card already linked to your Apple ID or adding a new one, your iPhone will still need to verify your card, and this process varies from bank to bank. Santander, the bank we used for our test setup, offers verification via text or phone call:

How to set up and use Apple Pay in the UK

Apple points out that the verification stage doesn't necessarily have to happen at the same time that you added the card: you can come back later and verify a card that added a card earlier. Go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay, or open Wallet again.

Tap Next after verification is complete, and you're ready to go.

Apple Pay isn't appearing on my iPhone. How can I activate it and add credit/debit cards?

Some users have reported that the option to add their credit and debit cards for use with Apple Pay hasn't appeared within the Wallet app or the Settings menu. Don't worry, though, as this is easily remedied and you'll be using Apple Pay in no time.

To manually activate Apple Pay on your iPhone, you need to head to the Settings app. Once in the Settings app, go to Language & Region, tap on the Region (which should say United Kingdom) and change it to United States. Once changed, simply restart your iPhone. 

Once your iPhone has restarted, open the Wallet app. From here, you should be able to add your (supported) credit or debit cards to be used with Apple Pay - see above for full instructions.

After you've successfully added all your credit or debit cards to Apple Pay, simply head back into the Settings app and change the Region back from United States to United Kingdom. Once you've changed the region, restart your iPhone again and Apple Pay should be accessible along with the debit or credit cards you've just added.

How do I use Apple Pay with the iPhone?

To pay using Apple Pay on your iPhone, hold your iPhone up to the contactless payment terminal near the cash register (within one inch, officially) and tap your Touch ID button to complete your purchase.

You don't even need to wake up your iPhone or launch Wallet to use Apple Pay: your phone wakes up as soon as it gets in range of a terminal and initiates the payment process.

How to use Apple Pay in the UK

The terminal may ask you to select either Credit or Debit, and Apple recommends that you select the Credit option in order to "get the most consistent Apple Pay experience"; it adds that selecting Debit might not work if payment terminal (or back-end system) is quite old.

If you don't wish to use your default card, hold your iPhone near the contactless reader without placing your finger on Touch ID. Your iPhone will wake up, and you'll see your default card on your screen. Tap the default card and you will see a list of all your cards, tap the card you want to use then move your iPhone towards the terminal and tap the Touch ID to initiate the payment.

Macworld poll: Have you used Apple Pay?

Have you tried Apple Pay since it launched here in the UK? Let us know by answering our poll: