A bug report for Tesco

Hey Tesco, I have a bug report for you.

To my other readers, yes, I am about to go on another rant about Amex Apple Pay support. If you've had your full allowance of American Express Apple Pay support rants from me this year then feel free to skip this one and if not, please read on.

Imagine my excitement when I waddled on in to my local Tesco store to see all of the tills fitted out with new contactless readers, their little jelly keypads not yet abused by the grubby fingers of a thousand local shoppers. Contactless and Apple Pay support were finally here.

My excitement unfortunately took a critical hit approximately 20 seconds later as it turns out that Tesco's stores don't support American Express Apple Pay. They take American Express and they also take Contactless American Express but, of course, they do not take American Express via Apple Pay.

The self service till experience is a little wonky when it comes to using it to say the least so I thought I'd give a blow by blow account of what the customer experiences when they attempt to do this. By the way, I've verified that the following happens every time you attempt to use Amex Apple Pay in a Tesco store multiple times now.

The experience
  1. Scan items
  2. Press "Finish and pay"
  3. Press "Contactless" (Reader now lights up saying to present card/device)
  4. Present iPhone, select American Express card, authorise Touch ID
  5. Reader lets out two angry sounding beeps and displays "Payment not processed, please insert card"
  6. Cry
  7. Insert American Express card (Reader now switches to "Please wait")
  8. Keep waiting. This takes about 15-20 seconds
  9. More angry beeps. Reader now displays "Problem reading card" (Or something of the sort)
  10. Till now gives up on the process and goes to an error screen saying there was a problem reading your card and you should try starting again
  11. Go back to payment screen
  12. Choose "Card" and process your payment like it's 2015.
The Solution

Of course the ideal solution would be for Tesco to sort out the readers so that they take Amex but I'd totally settle for some better error handling. If I give you an Amex card to read via Apple Pay why don't you just throw a "Sorry we can't accept American Express via Apple Pay method" and failing that, just figure out why inserting a card after a failed contactless read causes some sort of card read timeout. I'm guessing it's expecting the same card that it tried to read via contactless (which obviously doesn't happen because I don't have a physical card with the same card number).

Furthermore, it would be great if your support teams both via the website and Twitter knew a little more about it. I've had some confusing and frustrating conversations with staff on both. Tesco's online support team said (On the 7th December 2015) that they are working with their IT department to get this fixed.

I'm not holding out for it any time soon though.

That's all.

Updates

1st May 2016: Still not working in store but the timeout error didn't happen today. Success?

6th July 2016: Sergio points out that the readers allow contactless over £30 as they show the contactless symbol but then decline when you try to use it (Visa Debit card attempted) - Tweet

1st December 2016: Sainsbury's started taking contactless and now has the same problem

7th December 2016: Happy anniversary! It's officially been one year since this started. It's been wild and I'm excited about another year.