Apple Pay + HSBC UK / by Paulo Fierro

Apple Pay launched in the UK last month and I’d been looking forward to it because now I’d be able to use contactless payment methods when in the US using my UK bank cards.

First available was American Express, and setting up this card was very straightforward. Simply complete the guided process and you’re done.

I had been using Amex’s fantastic Passbook integration for several months now and had grown accustomed to the notifications you receive when you use your card. Its lightning fast too and I’d often get a notification before the receipt had even been printed.

Thankfully this is another feature of Apple Pay so I promptly removed the pass from Passbook — renamed to Wallet in iOS 9.

Next up was HSBC. They were supposed to be ready at launch, but then got delayed until July 28. I tried the following day and it didn't work. Thinking there were probably teething problems on HSBC's side I decided to leave it for a few days.

So last week I try to add my HSBC card and it still wouldn’t work.



After some searching I came across an article with a solution to the problem and I could barely believe it. Then I realized it was HSBC after all — lets just say that our experiences with them have been less than impressive, so this is actually par for the course.

Turns out, you can't add an HSBC card to Apple Pay if you're outside of the UK.

Amazing. #amazing

You have to:

  1. Disable Location Services (so your location remains unknown).
  2. Use a VPN to tunnel in to the UK. I recommend TunnelBear.
  3. Add your card.


Good job HSBC. I guess I feel more secure?