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Apple Pay - Two Different Views

Let me start off by saying that I’m not a big fan of cash. Being of a certain age (Gen Y, Millennial, whatever term you wish to use) I don’t really see the use of it. I use my debit card everywhere and if a shop doesn’t allow the use of debit cards, I’ll avoid that shop.

I’m excited about the prospect that with Apple Pay all I’ll need is my shiny new iPhone 6+ and I can buy whatever I want. I find this really exciting but I think that the reality might be different. Let me describe two scenarios where I would have recently liked to have used Apple Pay:

Day 1

I’m in London for a meeting today so it’s an early start. I’ve just arrived at the station and I’m checking departure times on an app on my phone. I swing by a coffee chain and get a coffee and a croissant, I pay using Apple Pay. On the train I catch up with emails, again using my phone, before arriving into Kings Cross. My meeting is a 15 minute walk away but it’s raining so I use my iPhone to order an Uber. The driver takes me to my meeting and as my Uber account is linked to my credit card, I leave the car and thank the driver without physically making a payment.

After the meeting a colleague asks if I fancy a quick drink before my journey home. I check train times on my iPhone and decide I have time for a “swift half”. We go to a pub and again I use iPhone to pay. I leave the pub and decide to take the tube to Kings Cross and as it’s still raining. I walk up to the turnstile, wave my phone in front of the sensor and make my way to the train.

On the way home I decide I want to listen to some music so I open up Itunes, find an album that I fancy listening to and make the purchase. Through 4G it takes seconds to download and I can now drown out the sounds of kids crying, telephone conversations and keyboards being bashed.

Day 2

I’m at home with my Fiancé and we decide to go out for a meal. I grab my phone and go to the website of a great little Turkish restaurant in the town we live in in the north of England. The restaurant’s website isn’t mobile friendly and even with the large screen of the iPhone 6+ I can’t make out what the menu says. The site has the ability to book a table online but the calendar doesn’t work with the touch screen so I’m forced to scribble down their telephone number on the back of a receipt before calling them to book a table.

I go downstairs to make a cup of tea and soon realise that we don’t have any milk. I stroll to the corner shop at the end of our street and remember that they don’t accept card payments for under £5 so I have to walk another 5 minutes to the local small supermarket where I don’t have to use cash. I pick up some milk and at the till I ask if I can pay by Apple Pay. The cashier doesn’t know what that is and tells me I can pay by debit card or cash. I explain, tell her it’s the same as a contactless payment and show her. She says she didn’t know you could do that and stares at the receipt blankly looking for a way to indicate that the payment definitely went through.

We enjoy a nice meal and when the bill comes I go to pay with Apple Pay. The restaurant brings the mPOS device over however the device isn’t new and doesn’t support NFC. Instead I have to use chip & pin. We leave the restaurant and as Uber isn’t available in our town, we order a taxi. The taxi doesn’t accept card payments, let alone Apple Pay, so we have to stop at an ATM en route.

The point I’m trying to make is that while the introduction of Apple Pay to the UK will be significant, not all of the UK is ready for such a significant change. I only hope that the adoption of the new technology will trickle down through society so that the benefits can be felt by a many different types of users all over the UK.


Comments: (1)

Richard Sanders
Richard Sanders - Hermosa Consulting - Southend on Sea 30 January, 2015, 15:161 like 1 like This is the legacy of London being the site of the original contact less trial. The Apple Pay situation is further complicated by the charges Apple made on the banks in the US that could not be funded from post PSD2 capped interchange rates so another model will be required for Apple to enter Europe.