Two big Apple Pay news

JPack

macrumors 603
Original poster
Mar 27, 2017
6,479
10,806
Glad to see Apple finally catching up mobile wallet/membership card features.
 

AppleHaterLover

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2018
2,038
2,044
Still hard to understand why Apple Pay is merchant-specific in the US (i.e. the merchant can refuse to take Apple Pay)

In other parts of the world, Apple deals with the bank and then the Apple Pay card is equivalent to the physical card and can be used with any merchant that has an NFC-capable terminal.

It’s quite difficult to remember that Costco accepts Apple Pay, Target changes their mind every week. What about CVS, 7/11 etc.
 

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
5,449
1,574
Phoenix, AZ
Still hard to understand why Apple Pay is merchant-specific in the US (i.e. the merchant can refuse to take Apple Pay)

In other parts of the world, Apple deals with the bank and then the Apple Pay card is equivalent to the physical card and can be used with any merchant that has an NFC-capable terminal.

It’s quite difficult to remember that Costco accepts Apple Pay, Target changes their mind every week. What about CVS, 7/11 etc.
Huh? All these stores you listed has contactless payments and has Apple Pay. The store can’t turn off only Apple Pay, the news articles you see here means they enabled contactless payments which are still new-ish in the US. At these stores that don’t have “Apple Pay” you still had to insert the chip. For example before they turned on everything, trying to tap at CVS would give you a message that said “Card must be inserted”...now you can tap anything at CVS, it’ll work, be it a card, an iPhone, an android, doesn’t matter.

The point is moot now, most retailers but Walmart now have contactless payments which means Apple Pay.

It works exactly the same as those European terminals. It’s all done by the bank just like in Europe. And now it seems every day another bank is issuing the same contactless cards that Europe had for years, which should also help better Apple Pay acceptance.

But most US cards before this year only had the gold chip that you had to insert, not the ones you can tap. So before these, the only form of contactless in the US were done through phones. (But you could be from Europe and tap a European card here fine).

Tl;dr: the US is finally catching up to the rest of the world and Apple Pay is just contactless payment in the US, as it is in Europe.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ecschwarz

AppleHaterLover

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2018
2,038
2,044
Huh? All these stores you listed has contactless payments and has Apple Pay. The store can’t turn off only Apple Pay, the news articles you see here means they enabled contactless payments which are still new-ish in the US. At these stores that don’t have “Apple Pay” you still had to insert the chip. For example before they turned on everything, trying to tap at CVS would give you a message that said “Card must be inserted”...now you can tap anything at CVS, it’ll work, be it a card, an iPhone, an android, doesn’t matter.

The point is moot now, most retailers but Walmart now have contactless payments which means Apple Pay.

It works exactly the same as those European terminals. It’s all done by the bank just like in Europe. And now it seems every day another bank is issuing the same contactless cards that Europe had for years, which should also help better Apple Pay acceptance.

But most US cards before this year only had the gold chip that you had to insert, not the ones you can tap. So before these, the only form of contactless in the US were done through phones. (But you could be from Europe and tap a European card here fine).

Tl;dr: the US is finally catching up to the rest of the world and Apple Pay is just contactless payment in the US, as it is in Europe.

Thanks for the clarification. My view came from MacRumors always reporting on "store Y now accepting Apple Pay", and "chain X no longer accepting Apple Pay" instead of "contactless"
 

lartola

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2017
750
296
Huh? All these stores you listed has contactless payments and has Apple Pay. The store can’t turn off only Apple Pay, the news articles you see here means they enabled contactless payments which are still new-ish in the US. At these stores that don’t have “Apple Pay” you still had to insert the chip. For example before they turned on everything, trying to tap at CVS would give you a message that said “Card must be inserted”...now you can tap anything at CVS, it’ll work, be it a card, an iPhone, an android, doesn’t matter.

The point is moot now, most retailers but Walmart now have contactless payments which means Apple Pay.

It works exactly the same as those European terminals. It’s all done by the bank just like in Europe. And now it seems every day another bank is issuing the same contactless cards that Europe had for years, which should also help better Apple Pay acceptance.

But most US cards before this year only had the gold chip that you had to insert, not the ones you can tap. So before these, the only form of contactless in the US were done through phones. (But you could be from Europe and tap a European card here fine).

Tl;dr: the US is finally catching up to the rest of the world and Apple Pay is just contactless payment in the US, as it is in Europe.
The stores may not be able to turn off apple pay itself, but they certainly can turn off contactless payment altogether at will (i.e., they can deliberately turn off the NFC contactless readers on all their terminals and only take payments using the chip and magnetic stripe readers). And several of them have certainly done that in the US at some point in the last five years because they were part of a group that didn’t want to accept apple pay and instead intended to support a QR code based mobile wallet called currentC that ended up being a flop. Some of the stores that were part of that group have now relented and turned contactless back on such as CVS, Target, Rite Aid, Best Buy or 7-eleven, while others continue to hold out of accepting any contactless payment such as Walmart, Home Depot, Publix, HEB or Kroger.
[doublepost=1564198541][/doublepost]
Still hard to understand why Apple Pay is merchant-specific in the US (i.e. the merchant can refuse to take Apple Pay)

In other parts of the world, Apple deals with the bank and then the Apple Pay card is equivalent to the physical card and can be used with any merchant that has an NFC-capable terminal.

It’s quite difficult to remember that Costco accepts Apple Pay, Target changes their mind every week. What about CVS, 7/11 etc.
Apple Pay is not merchant specific. It’s just that many merchants in the US are just starting to accept contactless payments, while others such as the ones you mention in your post (except for Costco) disabled contactless payments altogether purposely for years because they intended to support a QR code based mobile wallet called CurrentC. When CurrentC turned out to be a flop, many of its former supporters such as CVS, Target, 7-eleven, Rite Aid or Best Buy relented and turned their contactless readers back on, but others such as Walmart, Publix or Kroger continue to hold out and keep contactless disabled in favor of their own QR code based mobile payment apps.

I think this confusion that makes people think apple pay is merchant specific in the US is actually Apple’s fault, because at Apple they are completely incapable of using the term “contactless payment” and instead only speak about places that accept apple pay and places that don’t as if other forms of NFC contactless payment didn’t exist.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Apple Gadgeteer

joeblow7777

macrumors 604
Sep 7, 2010
6,514
7,718
I always found it weird that “tap” pay seems to have taken off in Canada a lot faster than in the States. By the time Apple Pay was introduced in Canada, it seemed that virtually every retailer/restaurant already supported “tap”. For the first year or two it was very common for cashiers to be surprised and confused for a moment when I paid by just holding my phone over the terminal. Usually I was the one who had to tell them about Apple Pay! :D

As pervasive as the technology is here, Apple Pay specifically never got a lot of promotion or attention. I use it all the time, but I know a lot of iPhone users who don’t even really know it’s a thing.
 

compwiz1202

macrumors 68030
May 20, 2010
2,520
1,379
Still hard to understand why Apple Pay is merchant-specific in the US (i.e. the merchant can refuse to take Apple Pay)

In other parts of the world, Apple deals with the bank and then the Apple Pay card is equivalent to the physical card and can be used with any merchant that has an NFC-capable terminal.

It’s quite difficult to remember that Costco accepts Apple Pay, Target changes their mind every week. What about CVS, 7/11 etc.
Target and CVS do now. Don't know about 7-11. WM is still a bunch of punks with their proprietary nonsense.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Apple Gadgeteer

Hal~9000

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2014
2,048
1,848
Glad to see Apple finally catching up mobile wallet/membership card features.

Just curious JPack, what is the two big Apple Pay news you are referring to?

I searched on Google for Apple Pay and limited it to the past 2 weeks but found nothing outside of Apple Card speculation articles.
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Original poster
Mar 27, 2017
6,479
10,806
Just curious JPack, what is the two big Apple Pay news you are referring to?

I searched on Google for Apple Pay and limited it to the past 2 weeks but found nothing outside of Apple Card speculation articles.

Not sure what happened to this thread. But I was responding to the original poster, which seems to have been deleted. The original post was something about Costco memberships cards being available in Wallet.
 

subjonas

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2014
2,829
2,554
Huh? All these stores you listed has contactless payments and has Apple Pay. The store can’t turn off only Apple Pay, the news articles you see here means they enabled contactless payments which are still new-ish in the US. At these stores that don’t have “Apple Pay” you still had to insert the chip. For example before they turned on everything, trying to tap at CVS would give you a message that said “Card must be inserted”...now you can tap anything at CVS, it’ll work, be it a card, an iPhone, an android, doesn’t matter.

The point is moot now, most retailers but Walmart now have contactless payments which means Apple Pay.

It works exactly the same as those European terminals. It’s all done by the bank just like in Europe. And now it seems every day another bank is issuing the same contactless cards that Europe had for years, which should also help better Apple Pay acceptance.

But most US cards before this year only had the gold chip that you had to insert, not the ones you can tap. So before these, the only form of contactless in the US were done through phones. (But you could be from Europe and tap a European card here fine).

Tl;dr: the US is finally catching up to the rest of the world and Apple Pay is just contactless payment in the US, as it is in Europe.

Thanks for the clarification. My view came from MacRumors always reporting on "store Y now accepting Apple Pay", and "chain X no longer accepting Apple Pay" instead of "contactless"

The stores may not be able to turn off apple pay itself, but they certainly can turn off contactless payment altogether at will (i.e., they can deliberately turn off the NFC contactless readers on all their terminals and only take payments using the chip and magnetic stripe readers). And several of them have certainly done that in the US at some point in the last five years because they were part of a group that didn’t want to accept apple pay and instead intended to support a QR code based mobile wallet called currentC that ended up being a flop. Some of the stores that were part of that group have now relented and turned contactless back on such as CVS, Target, Rite Aid, Best Buy or 7-eleven, while others continue to hold out of accepting any contactless payment such as Walmart, Home Depot, Publix, HEB or Kroger.
[doublepost=1564198541][/doublepost]
Apple Pay is not merchant specific. It’s just that many merchants in the US are just starting to accept contactless payments, while others such as the ones you mention in your post (except for Costco) disabled contactless payments altogether purposely for years because they intended to support a QR code based mobile wallet called CurrentC. When CurrentC turned out to be a flop, many of its former supporters such as CVS, Target, 7-eleven, Rite Aid or Best Buy relented and turned their contactless readers back on, but others such as Walmart, Publix or Kroger continue to hold out and keep contactless disabled in favor of their own QR code based mobile payment apps.

I think this confusion that makes people think apple pay is merchant specific in the US is actually Apple’s fault, because at Apple they are completely incapable of using the term “contactless payment” and instead only speak about places that accept apple pay and places that don’t as if other forms of NFC contactless payment didn’t exist.
I definitely regularly encounter stores (in the US) that have nfc readers that do not accept Apple Pay, officially and/or in reality. For some of them, that was merely the official word but I did not test it for myself. For others, Apple Pay was officially accepted but would not work reliably or at all. I’ve tested and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Notably, in these cases, the workers all seemed to say Samsung pay worked reliably. I don’t know what makes Samsung pay different, but that’s what many of them said.
This has just been my experience. It’s rather frustrating.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Apple Gadgeteer

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,806
2,366
Between the coasts
I definitely regularly encounter stores (in the US) that have nfc readers that do not accept Apple Pay, officially and/or in reality. For some of them, that was merely the official word but I did not test it for myself. For others, Apple Pay was officially accepted but would not work reliably or at all. I’ve tested and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Notably, in these cases, the workers all seemed to say Samsung pay worked reliably. I don’t know what makes Samsung pay different, but that’s what many of them said.
This has just been my experience. It’s rather frustrating.

I regularly encounter retailers who have contactless payment disabled. The largest grocery market chain in my area is one of them, which I find pretty annoying. I suspect it's because they'd rather not train their staffs on how to handle contactless transactions (including helping customers who may not be familiar with how to use contactless payments). For other retailers, perhaps it's that they're suspicious of anything new/changed, "What if something goes wrong and I don't get paid?"

I think that what cashiers say has to be taken with a very large chunk of salt. They're generally not all that tech-savvy, after all. Say, if an Apple Pay user wasn't familiar with how to use it and the transaction failed, while a Samsung Pay user knew exactly what to do... "In my experience it doesn't work as well." I have some cards that always go through without a problem, but my credit union card sometimes does have issues. Since I have similar issues with that same card for chip and swipe, it's more likely due to the card issuer's procedures/processing network than whether or not it's Apple Pay (or Samsung Pay), but Apple or Samsung get the blame.

There also seem to be some payment systems that require an extra step - either the cashier has to enable contactless when they see the customer wants to use it, or an extra key-press is required on the terminal. I'm not sure why that extra activation step should be needed, other than to avoid the possibility of accidental payment. Regardless of the reason, it definitely adds friction to the system, and I'm not sure the friction is justified.

In the terminals used at that grocery chain, they encourage customers to insert the card in the chip reader prior to completing the check-out. Apparently, their system can run a card authorization prior to the transaction being totaled. Considering the time it takes for some chip transactions to be processed... "Wait... wait... You can now remove card," I can see how pre-authorization could speed the check-out line. I'm only guessing here, but maybe contactless doesn't support that kind of pre-authorization (for good reason, as in my understanding, with contactless the customer is actually confirming the charge is appropriate).

In the US the payment systems gave a discount on transaction fees to encourage retailers to upgrade their terminals to accept chip/contactless. In practice, what that has often meant is "We'll use chip, but disable contactless and still get the discount." Embracing technology. It's what makes America great!
 

lartola

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2017
750
296
I definitely regularly encounter stores (in the US) that have nfc readers that do not accept Apple Pay, officially and/or in reality. For some of them, that was merely the official word but I did not test it for myself. For others, Apple Pay was officially accepted but would not work reliably or at all. I’ve tested and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Notably, in these cases, the workers all seemed to say Samsung pay worked reliably. I don’t know what makes Samsung pay different, but that’s what many of them said.
This has just been my experience. It’s rather frustrating.
There are only two reasons why an NFC reader wouldn't accept Apple Pay: either the reader doesn't work (in which case the terminal won't accept anything that's NFC contactless all the way down to the contactless cards), or you're trying to use a payment network not accepted by the merchant (such as in Costco stores, where only Visa cards are accepted so Apple Pay also only works if a Visa card was selected before trying to make the payment). Other than those two scenarios, Apple Pay should work anywhere contactless payment is working, even if the purchase is being made at a merchant located in a country that does not yet support Apple Pay. Note that, in the US, the 'NFC reader not working' category also includes a few holdout retailers such as Walmart, Home Depot, Publix or Kroger that did turn off their NFC readers on purpose and thus are unable to accept not only Apple Pay, but also any other form of NFC contactless payment all the way down to the cards.

As for Samsung Pay, it's supposed to work at more places because it offers the option to use the magnetic stripe reader when the merchant doesn't have NFC or NFC doesn't work for any reason (such as when they turn it off on purpose like there aforementioned merchants in the US). However, the reality is that Samsung Pay doesn't work too reliably over magnetic stripe and Samsung's advertising of it is more of a bait to attract some additional customers. At least here in Mexico, people using Samsung Pay over magnetic stripe often get declined transactions or read errors, and some terminals even crash and freeze up on it. As an example of the latter, I've run into a couple of cashiers who were reluctant to let me use Apple Pay and told me that their terminal had frozen up the last time someone had tried to pay using a cell phone. And I believe that in those cases people were trying to use Samsung Pay over MST because, after convincing each of those cashiers, my payment made over NFC using Apple Pay went through just fine and didn't make the terminal freeze up.
 
Last edited:

lartola

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2017
750
296
In the terminals used at that grocery chain, they encourage customers to insert the card in the chip reader prior to completing the check-out. Apparently, their system can run a card authorization prior to the transaction being totaled. Considering the time it takes for some chip transactions to be processed... "Wait... wait... You can now remove card," I can see how pre-authorization could speed the check-out line. I'm only guessing here, but maybe contactless doesn't support that kind of pre-authorization (for good reason, as in my understanding, with contactless the customer is actually confirming the charge is appropriate).

Actually, contactless does support that kind of pre-authorization. Not many merchants have it in place now, I guess for added security, but it can definitely be done. I found preauthorization to be working with contactless at Randall's supermarkets (owned and operated by Albertsons Group). At those stores you can tap your card or device on the reader while the cashier is still ringing your items and then payment will go through as soon as the cashier closes the tab, just like if you had inserted a card in the chip reader while the cashier was still ringing the stuff. It works great and it seems the cashier doesn't even realize that you never inserted or swiped a card because they were busy ringing your purchased items.
 

MisterSavage

macrumors 68020
Nov 10, 2018
2,443
2,357
It’s quite difficult to remember that Costco accepts Apple Pay, Target changes their mind every week. What about CVS, 7/11 etc.

CVS is the worst. They finally relented several years after disabling Apple Pay support and now accept it. 7/11 is great. I have my 7/11 rewards card in my Apple Wallet. I get it scanned with my Apple Watch and then use Apple Pay to purchase my drink when I go there.
 

ARK

macrumors 6502
Jul 20, 2008
477
66
Indianapolis, IN
Apple Pay no longer works for me at Meijer for groceries but it does work at the Meijer gas station. I can't use it at Target anymore, its stopped working at Chick-fil-a, it doesn't work at my local coffee shop anymore. Not sure what the deal is.
 

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
5,449
1,574
Phoenix, AZ
Apple Pay no longer works for me at Meijer for groceries but it does work at the Meijer gas station. I can't use it at Target anymore, its stopped working at Chick-fil-a, it doesn't work at my local coffee shop anymore. Not sure what the deal is.
Delete and re add your card. Sounds like the card you have in Apple Pay is still using legacy MSD contactless not the new EMV one.
 

ARK

macrumors 6502
Jul 20, 2008
477
66
Indianapolis, IN
Delete and re add your card. Sounds like the card you have in Apple Pay is still using legacy MSD contactless not the new EMV one.

Thanks for the reply. Yes I did remove it but when I went to add it back it was already populated. I hit accept and Im still getting the same pay errors. In my wallet app it literally says declined at Chick Fil A, Target, Meijer groceries but again I can make purchases at the Meijer gas pump and Nike Store online. Of course the physical card works fine at those stores as well. On one visit to Target I tried Apple Pay twice and my bank locked me out and sent me an email and text for fraud alert. Once I confirmed it was me I was able to use the physical card but again ApplePay still doesn't work. Whats funny is I use to be able to use it all the time just fine. Suddenly I'm having issues.
 

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
5,449
1,574
Phoenix, AZ
Thanks for the reply. Yes I did remove it but when I went to add it back it was already populated. I hit accept and Im still getting the same pay errors. In my wallet app it literally says declined at Chick Fil A, Target, Meijer groceries but again I can make purchases at the Meijer gas pump and Nike Store online. Of course the physical card works fine at those stores as well. On one visit to Target I tried Apple Pay twice and my bank locked me out and sent me an email and text for fraud alert. Once I confirmed it was me I was able to use the physical card but again ApplePay still doesn't work. Whats funny is I use to be able to use it all the time just fine. Suddenly I'm having issues.
What kind of card is it? Your bank may not offer EMV contactless yet (such as Credit One) which causes these kinds of issues. Try it with another card, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Most cards from major banks like Wells Fargo, the new Apple Card etc all offer EMV contactless. Discover and American Express cards don’t always work all too well with Apple Pay, IMO.
 

ARK

macrumors 6502
Jul 20, 2008
477
66
Indianapolis, IN
What kind of card is it? Your bank may not offer EMV contactless yet (such as Credit One) which causes these kinds of issues. Try it with another card, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Most cards from major banks like Wells Fargo, the new Apple Card etc all offer EMV contactless. Discover and American Express cards don’t always work all too well with Apple Pay, IMO.

Just the standard Visa Debit card with a chip from my bank. I dont understand why it was working fine at one point then suddenly stopped working at most terminals.
 

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
5,449
1,574
Phoenix, AZ
Just the standard Visa Debit card with a chip from my bank. I dont understand why it was working fine at one point then suddenly stopped working at most terminals.
Just recently most terminals received an update to enable EMV contactless at various times. It was the reason why JC Penney lost Apple Pay for a month and it came back.
 

lartola

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2017
750
296
I always found it weird that “tap” pay seems to have taken off in Canada a lot faster than in the States. By the time Apple Pay was introduced in Canada, it seemed that virtually every retailer/restaurant already supported “tap”. For the first year or two it was very common for cashiers to be surprised and confused for a moment when I paid by just holding my phone over the terminal. Usually I was the one who had to tell them about Apple Pay! :D

As pervasive as the technology is here, Apple Pay specifically never got a lot of promotion or attention. I use it all the time, but I know a lot of iPhone users who don’t even really know it’s a thing.
That was because everywhere else it was a requirement to abandon magnetic stripe readers for security reasons, so everyone replaced their magnetic stripe readers by chip readers and those devices had contactless built in as well, but in the US merchants were allowed to continue using their decades old magnetic stripe readers at least until 2014 when Apple Pay came out. Even in Mexico and other parts of Latin America magnetic stripes were abandoned nearly a decade ago in favor of chip readers for security. Contactless didn’t take off in Mexico when it did in canada and other places, but it’s starting to take off now and the transition is much easier and cheaper than in the US because most chip readers currently in use in the country also have a built in NFC reader. Thus, all that needs to be done is turn on the NFC reader via software on the terminals that still have it turned off (and maybe update the software running on the cash registers), as opposed to the US where merchants actually had to replace all their equipment.
 
Last edited:
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.