It's been a couple of weeks since the launch of Apple Pay in the UK and as of today I have all of my debit and credit cards set up and usable on both my phone and watch thanks to HSBC and First Direct getting on board. I've used Apple Pay quite a few times and I will always try to use it before falling back to my wallet which has come with limited success.
Using American Express is already a pain in the ass most days. A lot of smaller businesses don't accept American Express and staff members often can't comprehend what is happening when they try to put it into the card machine and it throws a "Please swipe card" error. On top of that, places that do take American Express and contactless don't necessarily take Amex contactless. Unfortunately this combination of all the above makes paying with Apple Pay Amex extremely hit and miss.
One of my biggest problems with Apple Pay isn't really a problem at all with the actual Apple Pay system and more of a problem with social awkwardness. I want to go out and use Apple Pay without causing a fuss. I just want to silently present my watch/phone when it's time to pay, let the magic happen and be done with it. Apple Pay doesn't really work like that.
When a cashier let's you know how much the total for a sale is, they immediately begin watching you for indication of how you wish to pay. Having being behind the till I know that I'm either looking for signs of cash or a card emerging from the customers wallet so that I can choose the right option on my till. Apple Pay complicates this because what actually happens is the cashier tells me how much I owe and I stand there staring at the card machine waiting for it to light up so I can present my watch. Cue awkward gazing into cashiers eyes moment.
I'll be honest, I don't really want to be that guy that says "I'm paying with Apple Pay" when they look for a payment method. It makes me feel like a dick and given how many times I've had to explain it already I don't want the "Whaaat? What's that?!" question every time I buy a chocolate bar. @phillipcaudell and I recently discussed this and both realised that we've taken to sort of grabbing and adjusting the position of the card machine which usually prompts the cashier to hit the card button so that we can swoop in and pay without much fuss.
Problem or not?
I'm not sure if I'm complaining about a problem that isn't there. Maybe I should get over the awkwardness and just announce that I'm paying with Apple Pay every time. What do you think?
- Apple Pay sometimes prompts bank security checks
- Sometimes my Phone says "Done!" and the reader sits there waiting for me to present a card
- There is no way to reorder cards on the Apple Watch
- The contactless Amex issue