Jun 9, 2015 · 2 minutes

One tidbit of information from Apple's WWDC event today that you may have missed was the announcement that Apple Pay would be made available for iPhone 6 and Apple Watch users in the United Kingdom.

Apple said that it had partnerships in place with the major UK banks, and that Apple Pay would be accepted by merchants starting in July.

Not to be outdone, moments later, Braintree/Paypal released an announcement that they were bringing their recently announced One Touch for Web service to Canada and the UK, starting tomorrow.

Once a user signs up for the service, One Touch for Web allows consumer to quickly pay for their e-commerce purchases with PayPal merchants without having to reenter payment or login information. According to the company's announcement, PayPal plans to roll out the service to other countries over the next couple of months.

The timing of the news may be a coincidence, but I highly doubt it. Not only is it expanding to the UK as well, PayPal is making its move in the next 24 hours, something that it — and not Apple — has the capability to do because so many retailers already use PayPal's various payments products.

And in its press release, PayPal was not shy about pointing this out:

PayPal merchants will automatically have One Touch enabled for their customers, without needing to do any integration. Consumers that choose to pay via One Touch will soon be able to securely checkout across millions of PayPal-enabled websites in a single touch, without having to re-enter their login information.
The race to be the big winner in the payments industry is moving faster and faster, and on a global scale, there are a lot of opportunities for U.S.-based companies, with Alibaba the only major international threat in the industry. Through its merchant roots, PayPal has a major advantage at point of sales and e-commerce. However, as Apple keeps adding global banking organizations to its partnership portfolio, it may be ever so slightly tipping the scales.

And the UK is the place for that to happen for Apple.

According to Ralph Dangelmaier, CEO of global payments company BlueSnap, today's chess moves are another aspect of what he has called the "Wallet Wars."

"The UK is one of the top places for mobile payments, most everyone has a card, and its of the top economies for online commerce," said Dangelmaier.

"It's no surprise that this is happening," said Dangelmaier, referencing today's tête-à-tête. "And you are going to see a lot more of the same thing happening with about five to six companies in the payments space."

Someone is going to come out on top and become the leader in the space. It should be compelling to watch it unfold.