Apple Pay to allow users to "wave and pay" through mobile phones in UK

Owners of the latest iPhones will get to make payments in shops in the UK using their handset, through Apple Pay.

The payment system allows customers with the iPhone 6 (or the Apple Watch), and one of the 70 per cent of UK bank cards that would be compatible, to shop with just the phone.

Apple Pay essentially uses the same technology that contact-less bank cards use and the same retailer terminals. Thanks to the ''near field communication'' chips in the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch the phone can ''talk'' to the terminal.

Users would need to upload their bank card details to their phone and after it was set up, they would be able to pay for goods by holding their phone near a shop's contactless card reader.

To verify that they were the phone's owner, they would need to place their finger on the Touch ID fingertip recognition button as they made the purchase.

According to Apple, from July, (a precise date had not been disclosed yet), Apple Pay would be accepted at over 250,000 UK locations. It added it had signed up eight of the UK's biggest banks. Users would also be able to use Apple Pay to make in-app purchases including booking airline tickets on their phones and Touch ID-enabled iPads.

Meanwhile, British Airways will soon allow its customers to pay for their flights with Apple Pay, while making a booking via the carrier's app.

Apple announced this week that Apple Pay would launch in the UK in July 2015, and the UK flag carrier had been quick to react, ensuring it was among the first airlines to offer the new contact-less payment service.

Whenever consumers added their credit or debit card to Apple Pay, the actual card numbers were not stored on the device or Apple servers, instead a unique Device Account Number was assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the device, and each transaction was authorised with a unique dynamic security code.

Kevin McQuillan, Head of BA.com, said, ''We're excited that we will be one of the first UK companies to introduce Apple Pay, making booking flights even easier.

''The addition of Apple Pay – along with the recent launch of our app for Apple Watch, mobile gate notifications at Heathrow and our digital Executive Club membership card – are just a few of the ways in which we are helping our customers by putting more travel essentials at their fingertips.''