Digital-only UK âchallengerâ bank, Starling Bank, has added support for Apple Pay â meaning its customers can now add their Starling debit card to their Apple Wallet and make contactless payments drawing from funds in their Starling account via their Apple devices.
The fintech startup launched a beta for its own app back in MarchÂ so itâs been pretty quick to add support for Appleâs contactless payment tech â and is lauding itself as the first of the fintech banks to do so. (Although, also today, two French fintech startups are announcing Apple Pay support.)
Multiple UK banks and building societies already support Apple Pay, including the major high street banks. Although Starling says it will be the first bank in the UK to offer in-app provisioning for Apple Pay users which means thatÂ new Starling customers will be able to load their card intoÂ theirÂ digital wallet virtually, before the physicalÂ MasterCard debit card arrives in the post.
Apple pay is accepted as a method of payment by âhundreds of thousandsâ of retail locations in the UK, according to Apple. Back in May, the company also suggested a majority of UK POS terminals were now able to support higher value contactless payments via the tech (those that donât support unlimited payments have a cap of Â£30).
Aside from offering contactless payments with a layer of biometric security, Apple is pushing the privacy angle to drive uptake of its payment tech, noting on its website that âyour card details are never shared by Apple when you use AppleÂ Pay, making purchases with your iPhone, AppleÂ Watch, iPad and Mac is the safer, more private way toÂ payâ.
Thatâs especially interesting when you consider Googleâs stated intent,Â earlier this year, to track credit and debit card spending to further profile web users for ad targeting purposes.
Other ad targeting giants such as Facebook also buy up large amounts of third party data relating to usersâ offline lives in a bid to expand its ability to profile people.
Apple Pay shields usersâ credit or debit card numbers from this type of tracking because the numbers are not stored on a userâs device nor onÂ Appleâs servers. Instead, aÂ unique Device Account Number is assigned, encryptedÂ and securely stored in the Secure Element on the device, with each transaction authorized via a one-time unique dynamic securityÂ code.