Customers with an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch will be able to use the contactless system to pay for their meal.
Without opening an app or unlocking their phone, diners will be able to pay by holding their iPhone near the contactless reader in a restaurant with their finger on the touch ID. A small vibration and beep confirms that payment has been sent, meaning consumers don't even have to look at their phone.
It is the latest in a surge of mobile payment systems introduced to the hospitality market, with customer’s increasingly viewing technology as a necessity rather than a novelty.
Pret A Manger has been using contactless payments since the technology first became available six years ago, and the transactions now account for almost half of all payments across the group.
CEO Clive Schlee said: “At Pret we aim to complete most till transactions in under a minute, contactless payment has been very popular with our customers. Pret could be one of the first places people come to try out Apple Pay as they pick up their morning coffee or lunch with us, and that’s an exciting prospect.”
David Campbell, chief executive at Wagamama, welcomed the system as benefiting time-poor customers and increasing speed of service.
“Whether our customers are having a quick yaki soba on their lunch break, or are enjoying a hot bowl of ramen before a film, putting them in control of a more convenient payment process makes for a better customer experience,” he said.
Apple Pay can also be used within apps to avoid filling out account forms or inputting billing information.
HotelTonight, Booking.com, lastminute.com, JustEat, Ocado and Dominoes are among those signed up to the service.
Apple cited security and privacy as being at the ‘core’ of the payment system.
When customers add a credit or debit card to Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device or on Apple servers.
Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on the device and each transaction is authorised with a one-time unique dynamic security code.
Jon Fisher, head of mobile and loyalty at Costa said: “We currently provide contactless payment across the majority of our UK stores, which is proving really popular, so offering Apple Pay will make our customer experience even more seamless whilst maintaining privacy and security.”
According to a study released last year, mobile payment has the potential to boost restaurant revenues by £5.6bn and increase table turnover and sales by 14.1 per cent.
Debit and credit support
Speaking at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday, Apple executive Jennifer Bailey confirmed the system will be supported by more than 70 per cent of the credit and debit cards in the UK.
Barclays has already come under fire with customers for failing to support the service, but yesterday (8 June) the bank tweeted that it was in talks with Apple about ‘how our customers could use Apple Pay in addition to our existing mobile and payment services’.