A customer at BP Boreham Connect, Colchester Road, Chelmsford, was one of the first consumers to use Apple Pay in the UK when they bought £15 of diesel a short while after the system went live on Tuesday July 14.

Apple Pay is a contactless smart phone payment service allowing consumers to pay for items using their iPhones.

The new payment system allows for up to £20 of goods to be purchased without the need to use a debit card or enter a PIN. Most retailers that already accept contactless payments via credit and debit cards will be able to support the new payment system. Retailers and services that have confirmed their support include BP, Spar, The Co-op, Costa, Starbucks, Subway, Waitrose and M&S Simply Food.

Apple Pay allows users of an Apple iPhone 6, 6 Plus or Watch to enter their card details into Apple’s ‘Passbook’ app and present their device to contactless card terminals.

Apple Pay has additional security measures compared to contactless payments. These measures ensure card details stored on the Apple device are never passed to the retailer and instead a token and encryption key ensures the payee debits the payment only once. Payments through Apple Pay are also secured and verified by the user with Apple’s finger-print Touch ID system.

Most payments made through Apple Pay will be limited to the £20 cap that currently applies to contactless card payments. However, this will rise to £30 in September this year.

Card providers Visa, MasterCard and American Express have signed up to use Apple Pay, with current banks supporting the system including: NatWest, Nationwide Building Society, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank and MBNA. First Direct, HSBC, Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank and TSB Bank are expected to join later this year.