So you live in a country where unfortunately Apple Pay isn’t supported as yet? Or you live in a country where Apple Pay is supported but your bank isn’t on board for Apple Pay contactless payments yet? If you fall in any of these two categories, we have a solution for you to start using Apple Pay anywhere in the world right now.
Originally launched in U.S. back in 2014, Apple Pay as of today is available in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and China on iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE and Apple Watch devices, with Apple continuously adding support for more countries and banks as the time progresses.
Until it comes to your country or bank, you can use the method outlined here to start using Apple Pay right away. Now this method is not perfect by any means, and has all sorts of limitations (more on that later), but if you want to get a taste of the future of payments right now, this is your only chance. This method basically makes use of a third-party virtual debit MasterCard by Boon in the UK, which you can register in your name, add it to the Wallet app, and then top-up the credit in it using a real debit or credit card that you may have of any bank in the world. Here’s how to go about this.
Step 1: You need to first register for a UK App Store Apple ID, instructions for which can be found here: How To Create US, UK Or Any App Store / iTunes Account Anywhere In The World.
Step 2: Next, open the App Store on your iPhone and download the Boon app. It’s available for free in the UK App Store.
Step 3: Launch the Boon app, now using your real phone number (doesn’t matter which country you are in), register for a Boon account by simply following the on-screen instructions.
Step 4: Once everything is verified, you will get a Boon START account with free £5 credit in your account which you can use to pay for anything.
Step 5: To top-up more credit, you will first need to upgrade to Boon BASIC or PLUS account, and then add a real debit or credit card to your Boon account. Now this debit or credit card can be of any bank or country, and it doesn’t have to be supported by Apple Pay. You will simply be using it to top-up credit in your virtual debit Boon wirecard, which will then be used for payments using Apple Pay.
Step 6: Last but not least, simply add this card to Wallet app on your iPhone and Apple Watch (if you have one). To do this, tap on “+” button for Add to Apple Wallet and wait for it to process and verify the Boon wirecard with Apple for Apple Pay use.
Once validated and activated for iPhone, you can repeat the process to add it to Apple Watch as well. Make sure you have a passcode set for Apple Watch. This is a requirement for using Apple Pay with Watch for security and authentication purposes.
Using Apple Pay for payments:
You can use this Boon wirecard for Apple Pay on any contactless payment reader which supports MasterCard. On iPhone. When the screen is off, double-clicking the Home button will bring the Wallet on Lock screen with your default card set for Apple Pay, simply hold it near a supported contactless payment terminal/reader with your finger on Touch ID for authentication, and the payment should go through in a second. You will hear a light sound from your iPhone along with a light vibration with a tick on screen, confirming the payment is done.
Similarly, on Apple Watch, double-clicking the side button will bring up your default card on screen, simply hold it near a contactless reader to make the payment. No Touch ID or passcode authentication will be required at the time of payment from Apple Watch because your Watch is already authenticated for payments when you wear and unlock it.
Limitations of using Boon for Apple Pay:
As I mentioned earlier, there are some limitations to using Boon for Apple Pay. For one, every top-up using debit or credit card will cost you around £1. Second, since this Boon wirecard is issued in UK, you will be charged a small fee for every Apple Pay transaction that happens outside UK. And last, there is a limit to how much credit you can top-up in Boon, even if upgraded to Boon BASIC or PLUS accounts. You can find more on it here: boonpayment.com/uk/fees-web.html.
While these limitations maybe a deal breaker for some, it is still worth trying out, especially if you haven’t ever used Apple Pay and want to see for yourself how it looks like paying at a retail store just using your iPhone or Watch. If nothing, you can use it for that one payment (coffee or soda or fries at McDonalds?) using £5 free credit that you initially get when signing up for Boon.
Personally, I tried Apple Pay at a number of retailers in both London and Dubai using Boon wirecard and needless to say it worked flawlessly every time. It was especially useful for paying in bus and for Underground Tube travel in London. A simple tap of my Apple Watch at contactless readers in a bus or at a station’s barriers is all it took for me to start my journey. Didn’t have to take my wallet out once!
If you do try this and get it to work, let us know the country or city where you used it in the comments section below.