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Why is Metro Bank switching off Apple Pay and Google Pay?

Metro Bank switching off Apple Pay
Dropped Apple: Metro Bank is switching off phone payments for a while

Metro Bank is one of the so-called ‘challenger banks’ – a plucky upstart taking on the starched suits of Barclays, Lloyds and co.

So it’s a little surprising to find the company behind the self-proclaimed “revolution in British banking” is turning back the clock and dropping support for Apple Pay and Google Pay – at least for a few months. What’s going on?

“Working on improvements”

Metro Bank isn’t making life harder for customers, of course. It’s “working on improvements”. But for some bizarre reason, it appears those “improvements” result in access to Apple Pay and Google Pay being withdrawn for several months. 

The company has sent the following boilerplate letter to its customers:

Metro Bank letter

In the letter, Metro Bank says its making a “few helpful changes to our business debit card service“, before in the next paragraph explaining that these “improvements” will result in Apple Pay and Google Pay being “temporarily suspended”. 

The services will be switched off on December 4 2018 and won’t return until “the middle of next year”. 

It’s not clear whether this switch off will only affect business customers – who are less likely to be using Apple Pay and Google Pay in the first place – or whether it applies to consumers, too. 

Either way, it’s a mystery why it’s taking six months or longer to fix. You’d assume it’s not a serious security issue, as Metro Bank isn’t shutting down the services immediately.

We’ve asked Metro Bank for an explanation. We’ll let you know if the company gets back to us. 

Now read this: Can Curve replace your bank cards?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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