One of the most awaited tech-events of this year, the Apple World Wide Developer Conference was held on June 8, 2015 in San Francisco, CA. At the event, Apple announced that it is expanding Apple Pay® beyond the U.S, with the U.K. being the next country to welcome mobile payments on the iPhone 6. Once again, we have been working behind the scenes with Apple to support the launch. Apple Pay® will be available in the U.K. from July 2015.

Apple Pay® created a lot of buzz last year when it was launched in the U.S. while several stories, both positive and negative, emerged about its success. Apple Pay® U.S. saw 1 million card activations within 72 hours of its launch. At WWDC ’15, Apple reported that the launch in U.K. is bigger than the one in the U.S. with support for more than 70% of all credit and debit cards in the U.K. and 250,000 launch locations.

So, what does this mean to merchants in the U.K.? In a card present scenario such as a purchase made in the store, consumers will begin utilizing their phones to transact more frequently, and will expect that they can be accepted everywhere. In a card-not-present scenario such as purchase made in a mobile app, merchants whose apps are Apple Pay® ready are likely to see better conversion rates owing to a smoother checkout process. Considering how easy it is to integrate an app with Apple Pay® using our Apple Pay® SDK, the potential ROI looks promising.

For merchants in the U.K. who are considering integrating with Apple Pay®, Staples is a good case to study. Staples in the U.S. was one of the earliest adopters of Apple Pay® and has seen significant benefits from it. "Apple Pay® has been one of the most successful implementations when it comes to payments," said Prat Vemana, the VP for mobile commerce at Staples, “Right now it's the number one payment method for us in our iOS apps.” Staples aside, Apple reported at WWDC 2015 that the In-App checkout rates have more than doubled in apps that have enabled Apple Pay®.

Apple Pay® and Android Pay are big bets that Apple and Google are placing in the mobile payments and subsequently in the m-commerce space. What we see today are likely the early stages of a potentially disruptive technology that is mobile payments.

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Apple Pay ® is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.