HSBC talks sweet amid rumours of a soured Apple

Edith Hancock
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SORTING out who’s in and who’s out on the first day of the launch of Apple’s contactless payment system proved a tricky business.

On Apple’s website recently, seven companies were trumpeted as launch partners, among them banking giant HSBC. But fast-forward to the official launch day yesterday and it would appear everyone on the original list has launched...except HSBC and its online bank First Direct.

Could it have anything to do with a gaffe by the bank at the weekend? HSBC inadvertently let slip the date Apple Pay would go live on its system and then answered a customer’s question on Twitter: “Yes! It’s due to launch this Tuesday! We are excited too.”

Well, we all know how closely Apple likes to micro-manage its product launches. HSBC insists any link between the two incidents is nonsense and says it is “working hard” to bring Apple Pay to its customers “by the end of July”.

Well that all makes sense now. How could anyone believe that the gaffe and their absence on launch day was anything but a coincidence?

▀ Bosses at Chelsea football club are desperately hoping that their women’s teammates’ skills on the pitch at this year’s World Cup will bring more young women to their apprenticeship open day tomorrow, after learning that male applicants for the scheme outnumber the girls five to one. Bosses and players at Stamford Bridge seemed underwhelmed that so few women were applying for the scheme launching in September. Chelsea teammate Eniola Aluko said: “We hope that the World Cup will inspire as many young women as possible to join the male applicants at our apprenticeship open day.” Come on girls!