Unless I’m going to a restaurant or one of the only two grocery stores I really shop at (Kroger or Walmart), I typically don’t bother with my wallet. These days, I can get in and out of a checkout line so fast and be on my way, unlike the people who still not only wait until the register totals their bill to pull out their wallet, but then they pull out a CHECKBOOK! IN A GROCERY STORE! 😐
In short, Apple Pay is a digital payment solution allowing you to make purchases in-person, within an app, or on the web. There has already been methods of mobile payments similar to Apple Pay, but Apple has revolutionized the system thanks to two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication is defined as an extra layer of security that requires more than a username and/or password. In the case of Apple products, you use two-factor authentication in the form of the fingerprint sensor on your iPhone, iPad, and now MacBook Pro.
It’s relatively easy to determine if a store you frequent will accept Apple Pay, but sometimes you have to ask. We’re still early in the game because, even if retailers have the credit card terminals that contain the hardware required for mobile payments, the devices may not be activated or the retail staff may not be educated in the technology. I’ve been to “Mom & Pop” convenience stores where your card terminal provider has come in and installed the device, trained the store staff and moved on. Most times these days, the staff doesn’t retain the information and it inevitably makes the transactions harder for us as a consumer.
In my experience, I’ve asked an associate and been told no before and they wouldn’t even check with management, only to find out in another visit that the machine was just not working at the time.
I’ve also been to restaurants like Chick-Fil-A, where they gladly accept mobile payments like Apple Pay, both in-store and at the drive-thru. Beware, however, because more often than not, I get faced with one of their amazing, but unadvised teenage employees who tell me they can’t accept Apple Pay in the drive-thru because their credit card machine is mounted to the counter inside the window. No, darling, it’s designed to be lifted and held outside the window for mobile payment customers to reach. Also, I’ve had drive-thru associates try to take my phone and do it themselves inside the window, but you have to understand that it needs to have my fingerprint on the TouchID sensor on the home button in order to process the mobile payment.
Apple Pay, as of April 2017, can be used with the following devices:
- iPhone 6 & 6 Plus
- iPhone 6s & 6s Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
- iPad Air 2
- iPad Pro
- Apple Watch
If you use any of the above devices, or earlier models (iPhone 5 or iPhone 5c), you can use Apple Pay via Passcode as long as you have an Apple Watch on your wrist.
In conclusion, you are basically weighing the convenience of a simple tap of your phone on the credit card terminal, which takes an average of 3-5 seconds versus inserting a chip card and going through numerous prompts before waiting even longer to be allowed to remove the card, which even myself at Kroger, where I have the prompts and screen position memorized and can hit it at just the right time without even looking, and get the card out as fast as possible, it still takes 7+ seconds. You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, but first let me assure you that I’m not doing it as fast as possible to get the card in and out quickly before the bad guys get my data. I’m not that kind of conspiracy theorist. I do it fast because I just naturally paid attention to the pattern of prompts and screen position and do it so much that I just know, so I try to be quick about it, just to get the person behind me moving. I digress, but it’s really mostly about security, with the added benefit of convenience.
There’s so much more I can say about why Apple Pay (or Android/Samsung Pay, if you are just reading this as a non-Apple user) is really worth the investment of learning how it works and where you can use it, but I’ll end with this: Mobile Payment (at least Apple Pay for certain) isn’t going anywhere. I’m not a currency expert, so there’s no way for me to really forecast where hard cash is going, though I’m certain debit and credit cards are going to be around for many years. But, as technology continues to innovate at a rapid rate, my advice is to get on the train now and enjoy the convenience and security things like mobile pay has to offer!
Have you been using Apple Pay? What do you love/hate about it?