febrero 22, 2024

Apple destaca la función de saldo de la tarjeta Apple Pay en el Reino Unido, mientras comienza un lento lanzamiento en EE. UU.


Apple is today highlighting an Apple Pay card balance feature in the UK after it was expanded to 10 banks and finance companies there.

It’s likely to quickly come to other UK brands – as well as rolling out in European Union countries – while the US rollout is likely to be significantly slower …

Apple Pay card balance feature

Once activated, the feature displays bank account and card available balances directly beneath the card in the Wallet app. Here’s how Apple describes it:

A new feature is available for Apple Pay users in the U.K., enabling them to connect their accounts to eligible debit and credit cards in Wallet, and conveniently view and access their most useful, relevant information — like their up-to-date debit card balance — at the time of purchase. This feature empowers users to make more informed purchases, increases their confidence when making a transaction, and allows them to simply view frequent information so that they have more control when it comes to their finances.

“By enabling users to conveniently access their most useful account information within Wallet and at the time of their purchase, they can make informed financial decisions and better understand and manage their spend,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet. “We look forward to working with U.K. partners under the Open Banking initiative to help users better their financial health, and provide more ways in which banks can deepen their relationships with customers.”

Users will be able to view their up-to-date debit card balance in Wallet and when they’re checking out with Apple Pay online or in-apps. As users make a purchase — whether large or small — they will be able to see what’s in their debit card balance so they can quickly and more easily determine if and how it fits into their budget and spend.

UK first

The feature was first rolled out in beta form to the UK back in September, and is currently supported by 10 banks and finance companies.

While most new iOS features launch first in the US, Apple Pay card balances takes advantage of a UK law requiring banks to provide something known as Open Banking. This has three components:

  • An API allowing third-party apps to access real-time account information
  • A more efficient way to make payments
  • More accurate credit scores through access to live financial data

Customers can, for example, use a single third-party app to view account balances and statements from their accounts with multiple banks. This is the API used by the Wallet app.

Open Banking is also part of EU law, so it is likely that the feature will rollout to other European countries soon – alongside more UK banks.

US rollout likely to be slower

In the US, the feature has always been available for the Apple Card, as that is managed through the Wallet app. Beyond that, rollout will be slower, as the US doesn’t yet have a similar open banking initiative (though it is being discussed).

That means that instead of hooking into public APIs, Apple will have to reach individual agreements with each bank and card company – or, at least, the financial institutions which own them.

The Discover credit card joined the party last month, but Apple hasn’t yet given any indication of which other cards and accounts we can expect to support the feature. While the Discover card is mentioned, it’s notable that Apple only added the press release to its UK press site.

Privacy and security

Apple of course emphasises that the feature has a strong privacy and security focus.

Like Apple Pay, this feature is designed to be private and protect user data.

Users must authenticate through their financial provider’s website or app, as well as consent to connect their accounts to their cards in Wallet and share their data, before the feature is enabled. The user’s account balance information, transaction history, and other account details are stored on the device and not on Apple servers.

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