A day in Manhattan with Apple Pay

“For years, payments industry insiders have been skeptical of the rise of the mobile wallet, a vision of the future where customers eschew wallets for credit cards stored on their smartphones,” Mike Isaac reports for The New York Times. “And then came Apple Pay.”

“Two months after the introduction of Apple Pay, I decided to see how well merchants were in handling the new product. Below is my recent daylong experience of trying to buy various things at a random sampling of retailers in Manhattan that accept Apple Pay,” Isaac reports. “The Toys R’ Us in Times Square is one of the largest toy stores in the world — 110,000 square feet, and almost always crowded… I grabbed a miniature stuffed giraffe and headed to the long check-out line. My cashier was a nice woman who immediately knew what I meant when I asked if the store took Apple Pay. Not only did she know about Apple Pay, she knew other mobile wallets like Softcard, Google Wallet and PayPal; Toys R’ Us accepts them all. Lately, she said, many more people were using their phones to pay for things.”

Much more in the full article here.

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19 Comments

        1. Or better yet, ignore inane and irrelevant comments entirely. Don’t even them down. Just don’t vote at all. Hopefully they will eventually leave when they get no attention.

  1. Good thing he didn’t go into a Rite Aid. When I walked into one in Seal Beach CA last week, (yes, to be relevant to the story they have them in Manhattan as well) I was told that Rite Aid banned Apple Pay because Apple Pay had been hacked into and wasn’t secure.
    I’m sure he was just repeating what management told him to say, he didn’t know any better.
    I walked out of there thinking to myself, “these are the people that I trust with my family’s health?”

  2. Here is a comment I left at the original site of the article, but I doubt will be posted:

    The author seems to want to leave the impression that Apple Pay tends to make transactions difficult because every store is busy busy busy and the clerks are confounded by a confusing system.

    Nothing could be further from the truth; one simply brings the iPhone into proximity with the terminal then touches the fingerprint sensor. Done. The process is simple and more secure than any other payment system.

    The supposed problem of using Apple pay with a loyalty card is also a made-up problem by the author. He says that Apple pay does not support loyalty cards; well guess what? Neither do credit cards. You simply swipe or enter your loyalty card information exactly as you would if you intended to make your purchase with a credit card. The only difference is, that at the point at which you would swipe your credit card you instead touch the home button on your iPhone.

    As is pointed out by other commenters, there is no need to spend time explaining what Apple Pay is to the clerk.

    Clearly the goal of the author here is to leave the reader with doubts about the viability of Apple pay. Notice how he also is attempting to passive/aggressively generate a concern about Apple pay running down your battery by listing the battery level at every point in his day but without indicating what else he might be doing with this phone between log entries.

    1. What is it with the battery dropping so fast. . . 3% in 20 minutes? Something is definitely “passive-aggressive” about that portion of his narrative! I have used my iPhone6 far more than what he seems to be using it and never had that much draw down of my battery. I think this is a not-so-subtle hit piece, designed to leave a bad taste in the minds of readers.

      I am not even certain the anecdotal events even occurred as described. Something smells.

  3. I used Apple Pay for the first time over Christmas holidays. I have an iPhone 6, and had loaded my credit card into Apple Pay, but had never found a place to use it. I had asked some clerks before, but they had no idea what Apple Pay is. Then over Christmas I was at a White Castle to eat, and after I ordered I noticed a credit card reader near the cash register. It didn’t say anything about Apple Pay or NFC, but it was out front for the customer to swipe his card. I asked the clerk if they took Apple Pay and pulled my phone out of my pocket. Of course, she had no idea what I was talking about. But while I was holding my phone to ask her if I could use it, I noticed an image of my card showed up on the screen & I just touched the Touch ID sensor. All of a sudden the transaction processed. I did have to touch “credit” on the terminal, and then “yes” to verify the amount was correct – but that’s it.

    And it was funny to watch the look on the lady’s face to see me waving my phone and it working!

    That’s why Apple Pay isn’t even more popular … no one knows how to use it and the store clerks (in general) don’t know either. If your in a store with a credit card reader or scanner, just try it. It might work (but don’t bother to ask).

    1. You have to just try, a lot of vendors can take it, but the clerks don’t even know about it. There are tell tail signs though, look for recently replaced equipment. There doesn’t even have to be symbols, they are making new readers that look like the older ones, with out an RFID bump, but it’s buried inside.

      Look for new screens, new card readers, (clean, bright screens, intact pens, etc)

      Bring your phone up-close, if your cards show up, you may be good to go.

      At Best Buy, several times already, All signs are a go. iPhone shows cards, and with Touch-ID, bing. But the method is declined. So I don’t know what’s going on there.

      Keep trying.

  4. My Toys-R-Us experience was, with Apple Pay, I had to accept the charge value, declare ATM vs Charge, and sign a box.

    Bloody Hell, might as well have used my credit card.

    They have taken something that was supposed to be a tap and pay with Touch-ID, and send it back to the last century.

    They are doing better than others though… I mean at least they didn’t disable their preinstalled technology in order to prevent Apple Pay from functioning. They made it so you couldn’t tell the difference.

    1. Gollum, this is where its important for a person to think. Its the company that is screwing you over not Apple. And if they screw you over on something like this, what else are they screwing you over on??? over charging? out of date medicine? Poor quality merchandise that they are aware of??

      And consider how secure is their credit files. Target, and many others don’t really care about your security, its all about their cost. They only lose money after the fact.

      Timely note. When Target was hacked, they had installed software to warn them ahead of the hack. It did. They ignored it cause, well its a pain. Stupid companies.

  5. I have my Fred Meyer (Kroger) loyalty card stored in Passbook. I find that when I enter the store the loyalty card is automatically selected and appears on my lock screen. This is really convenient.

    1. Precisely my thought. If these companies want to gather your information, then they need to make their loyalty cards Passbook compatible. Then all you need to do is scan the loyalty card (or do as most people do and enter your phone number on the keypad) and pay with Pay. And a tap or two to confirm the amount isn’t any big deal. No different than using a credit/debit card, but far, FAR more secure.

  6. I sent this comment to my local McDonalds. “Please train your register operators better in the use of Apple Pay. Every time I pull out my phone they seem confused. I was also advised to hand my phone over in the drive through on one occasion, which I did not do, and tried to explain I had to use my thumb print to pay. Another occasion, she told me her card reader could not be moved. I instructed her to pick up the card reader, which she told me she could not do, until I told her to get her manager. Its not rocket science! Also at this location, please get a longer cable, the cashier can not get it very close to the window, and I must lean out of my car, and almost into the drive through window.” Just my real life experience using Apple Pay.

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