Apple Pay, Apple’s highly anticipated contactless payment system, launched in the UK this morning – nearly nine months after its launch in the US.

The Apple Pay system allows owners of iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus and Apple watches to pay for goods and services by touching their device on a contactless payment pad, in the same way the recently introduced contactless payment cards.

Apple Pay is set to be available in 250,000 sites, including Tube stations, supermarkets and travel services.

However, HBSC missed the launch this morning, saying instead that they planned to launch the service by the end of July. The bank had been expected to begin offering the system today; yesterday the bank was listed on the Apple website as a “participating bank” .

HSBC denied that its decision not to participate at launch was last minute, saying that it had not planned to take part.

Barclays – which has its own payment system – said it would be offering Apple Pay “in the future” and five other banks, including Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Lloyds, TSB and Marks and Spencer will launch in the autumn.

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