Apple is in negotiations with "Britain's top banks" in preparation for launching Apple Pay in the region, sources tell the Telegraph
newspaper. The service is expected to arrive in the UK in the first half of 2015. At least one bank is said to be uncomfortable about the amount of personal and financial data Apple wants to collect from its customers, however, and some executives are said to be wary that both Apple Pay and the data the company wants could operate as a "beachhead for an invasion of the banking industry," as the Telegraph
writes. It's nevertheless predicted
that the banks will bend, as Apple Pay appears to be catching on in the US, and may be a way to convince more British shoppers to pay via their mobile phones.
Just recently, Apple orchestrated the creation of a London-based team
dedicated to bringing Apple Pay to "Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa." A secondary team is working on bringing the service to China, but it's not certain when that might happen.
Launching a service like Apple Pay requires negotiating with both banks and merchants, and having a significant portion of businesses signed on if the service is going to be at all practical for the average person. On top of this, the company has to pass the scrutiny of the UK's financial regulators.