October 24, 2014
Apple Pay was recently launched with big fanfare and many consumers have already started using it for making payments. But some revelations have come to light illustrating some shortcomings around Apple Pay:
Apple Pay didn’t Work Out Well for some Bank of America customers
Apple Pay is charging twice on transactions by Bank of America customers. The news was first reported by CNN reporter Samuel Burke who himself faced the issue. He first noticed the flaw when he made purchases via his Bank of America debit card at Whole Foods and Duane Reade. Other Bank of America customers also posted about the issue on social media sites. Seemingly, both Bank of America and Apple Pay blamed each other for the issue.
Apple’s customer care executives tried to justify themselves by citing they possess no record of the transaction. But Bank of America tweeted later that they are working to fix the issue. Bank of America is ready to refund all the affected customers and would cover overdraft fees as well. A Bank of America spokesperson has cited that the issue has affected only about 1000 transactions.
Apple should promote this fact
A large number of people are facing issues regarding support of Apple Pay for their specific cards. There are still some card types that do not yet support Apple Pay, as per the following illustration from an Apple Support page. Apple should make an effort to highlight this information to a wider audience, more effectively via social media platforms. The illustration provides details on the types of cards and the associated issuers that do support Apple Pay completely. This can help avoid the confusion that customers are facing.
Are staff members at merchant stores really trained for Apple Pay?
Experiences of Susie Ochs (from Macworld.com) reveal that staff members at point-of-sale are not that aware of how Apple Pay works. At a Walgreen store, the staff member exclaimed What did you do?! when Susie tried to pay via Apple Pay. While at a Rite Aid store, the staff member asked her How do you know if you can trust it?, on which she had to explain the tokenization process.
Although Apple is trying to promote Apple Pay to merchant employees ,the current pace is clearly not that effective. May be a major nationwide campaign could help avoid such weird queries from staff members to customers.
Some of us here at LTP are intimately familiar with these issues during the last 2 major attempts at launching NFC payments in the US, by Google Wallet and Isis (SoftCard). While Apple deserves a lot of credit for moving the ball much further down the field this time, it does seem like deja vu when as we report on these tweeting pains this time around.