Apple Pay could make me switch banks from Monzo if it did these three things

Apple Pay on iPhone and Apple Watch
(Image credit: iMore)

With Apple's upcoming Apple Pay Later feature — its 'buy now, pay later' offering — reportedly in testing with some Apple Store employees in the US, it's struck me that this, and a couple of other features Pay haven't yet been rolled out worldwide.

Apple Pay in the US has features such as cashback on purchases, and the Apple Card itself, which is a credit card that you can track within Apple's Wallet app. In my native UK, these features remain absent. 

In the UK however, there could be a bigger amount of financial hoops that Apple needs to jump through before the British banking system approves Apple Card and other features the company has planned. But that hasn't stopped competing banking services offering fully-featured alternatives.

Monzo, a UK company, is a smart bank that recently brought out its own take on Apple Pay Later, Monzo Flex. This allows you to pay for goods, then pay them back in interest-free installments.

As I've been a Monzo user for years, right back to when its app was in beta testing in 2017, I've come to enjoy its app and features, such as its use of virtual cards, dark mode, money saving tools, and the aforementioned Monzo Flex. But if Apple brought out three features that I could use for its payment service, I'd be tempted to switch.

Take Apple Card worldwide

I have a credit card, mainly to keep my credit score in check, but managing it in my other banking app only frustrates me. Sometimes the app is 'down for maintenance', or it's slow to update the transactions for it.

And, admittedly, even the card isn't the best looking compared to Apple's take, with its titanium-cut finish. When you also look at Monzo Premium, Monzo’s £15 a month subscription that comes with a metal card, it’s a great finish but as it’s a debit card, there’s room for Apple to make a move.

With Apple Card, it ticks everything I need. Great design of the card, elegant and easy-to-see transactions in the Wallet app for whenever I need it, alongside widgets.

I’d love to see this come to the UK and take advantage of its cashback features wherever I am, from coffee shops to theme parks.

Bring Wallet to macOS and iPadOS

I'm still puzzled that we can't see our fitness data from an Apple Watch on iPad or macOS, and the same applies to the Wallet app when looking at transactions.

If Apple Card came to other territories, it'd be great to have the Wallet app move to join iPadOS as well as its current home on iOS, alongside its accompanying widgets, so you can have a detailed overview of transactions and payment schedules on your iPad home screen for example.

Having a bigger view on Wallet to get a better look at your Apple accounts would be very helpful, without having to constantly reach for your iPhone.

Send money to others with other bank accounts

While I'd love to see Apple Pay Cash come to the UK, an expansion of it would be great to see as well. For those unaware, you can send money through iMessage to another Apple user using Apple Pay Cash, and they can use the funds in a digital 'Apple Pay Cash' card in the Wallet app.

Six years on, the feature still hasn't arrived in the UK, which could be due to Apple coming up against potential roadblocks with the Financial Conduct Authority in trying to introduce Cash outside of the US. So let's see its arrival, alongside the ability to send money to other banks, such as Natwest, TSB and the rest.

Final thoughts

Apple Card held in hand

(Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Apple's Wallet app has been around since iOS 6 in 2012, back when it was called Passbook, where you'd use it for reward cards and passes for concerts. Nowadays, it's grown into something so much more useful where it holds your debit and credit cards in one place.

However, it's been slow to roll out its payment services outside the US, while competitors like Monzo continue to expand its efforts into ever more markets. Apple seems to be on the cusp of being overtaken by others because of its slow rollout of other Apple Pay features, especially by long-established banks like Citibank and Goldman Sachs, already refining their iOS apps and introducing 'wellness' variants to better look after your credit report.

Regardless, Apple has a lot of opportunity in this space. It just needs to go a bit faster in some areas so I can switch to using the service full-time.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use every day to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a monthly newsletter called 'Springboard'. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64, and Daily Star.