Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Pay’s User Experience

James Cook at — sighBusiness Insider:

iPhone 6 users are hitting upon a problem when trying to pay for burgers in McDonald’s: Staff don’t know how to accept payment using Apple Pay, the new mobile payments app.

[…]

Here’s a post from DKDonkeyKong that explains the problem:

I just got my new Gold iPhone 6 Plus (128GB) yesterday. I went to McDonalds, excited to purchase lunch using my new device. The lady at the front gave me my total, and I said “I’m going to pay using my new iPhone”. She immediately gave a very confused look and told me I could pay using cash or credit. I said that Apple Pay is an NFC-based feature and should work with any NFC terminal. She told me to wait just a moment while she spoke with her manager. At that point I was rather embarrassed and told her I’d just pay with my card.

First of all, it’s from Business Insider, so we’re already off to a bad start.

Then there’s this DKDonkeyKong person, who might — and this is just a guess — not necessarily be the best source for a journalistic outlet.1 But, then again, this is Business Insider.

But there’s actually something to this. Cook continues with a quote from the MacRumors thread from which he sourced this entire let’s-call-it-an-article:

Do NOT involve the cashier. While they ring up, I generally have my phone near the terminal [with] home button pushed. This works over 50% of time. For those other times, when they ask cash or credit, simply say credit. People spend too much time talking to the cashiers. They’re easily confused.

Aside from the holier-than-thou way this poster calls cashiers “easily confused”, they’re kind of right. You shouldn’t need to explain that you’re using Apple Pay; it should work just like a contactless credit card. It’s not cashiers that are to blame, but rather retailers who favour collecting data over customer experience creating unnecessary complications in the contactless payment space.


  1. This is from a MacRumors thread, but you could probably tell that from the way this user explains, in full, which iPhone they bought. I’m half-surprised DKDonkeyKong didn’t also include the model number. ↩︎