Apple Pay has been out and available to consumers for just about a month now, but the real test hasn’t started yet. The true test for Apple Pay will be the annual retail gamut that officially kicks off on Friday (or Thursday if you’re at Walmart) and will run until dreams of sugar plums are dancing in our collective heads on December 24th.
The data says consumers aren’t just psyched to shop, yet when they do they are also pumped to pay with Apple (link to our story, unless we hold it until Thursday, in which case, I will link to the source and change the link in this on Wednesday), and so PYMNTS decided to find out exactly how easy they are going to find that.
The results were…well a little mixed.
CVS | We Regret To Tell You No…But, You Know, Soon. Maybe?
Okay so maybe we knew they wouldn’t take Apple Pay at CVS but we did want to know what would happen if we asked.
Our reporters told us.
"At CVS, I’d stop to pull out my wallet and ask the cashier if the store accepted Apple Pay. The reactions ranged from “What’s that,” “Oh, the new thing—No,” “very soon,” “I am sorry, we don’t."
The Disney Store | There’s A First Time For Everything
After striking out at CVS PYMNTS knew we need a win, so off to the Disney Store, our team went where we knew they were definitely, totally accepting Apple Pay.
It turns out, according to our reporter, we were a bit more sure than they were.
“Do you accept Apple Pay?” our reporter asked.
“Um, we don’t? Let me check,” the cashier replied.
The cashier standing next to her said, “I think, we do, but I’m not sure—we haven’t used it before.”
To our surprise, our reporter was the first customer at quite a busy store to have used Apple Pay in the month since its launch. “Oh my god, you’re the first and it worked!”
Both cashiers clapped and cheered—an unexpected and pleasant dimension to using Apple Pay.
The Body Shop | Technical Difficulties
Flush of the victory at Disney, off to the Body Shop to moisturize.
“Do you take Apple Pay,” our reporter asked.
“Sorry, the terminal is broken,” said the cashier, saying that they’d been having trouble, as had other stores.
No dewey finishes for PYMNTS.com
Nike | Just Doin’ It (And Feeling Like A Professional Athlete At The Same Time)
A few hours into shopping at the outlets in Wrentham, our reporter was beginning to feel a little worn down. He needed a win, but more important, he needed to feel like a winner. The choice was clear—it was time to go to the Nike store.
"I think you’re the fourth person using Apple Pay in our store,” said the Nike Store cashier after asking over the microphone if the store supported Apple Pay. Another employee appeared and said that they’d been having trouble using it with the handheld POS, but it should work fine on the fixed terminal.
And it did.
“Yay, we accept Apple Pay!” cheered the cashier over his wireless microphone.
This was our reporter’s second round of applause for using Apple Pay that day, and he wondered, is it possible that he was a true payments champion?
Macy’s | More Technical Difficulties
Our reporter had shoes and now he needed socks. No problem, to Macy’s.
“A Macy’s shopper, meanwhile, said they had tried to use Apple Pay but couldn’t.
Because the terminal was in the basement and didn’t have a strong enough signal.”
Thank goodness when our second reporter tried upstairs at the fancy schmancy Chanel counter, things went a whole lot more smoothly. Well, except that the sales associate had no clue what Apple Pay was.
“I went upscale to the Chanel counter at Macy’s, where they had no idea what I was talking about, but when I tried it and it worked fine.”
Subway and Whole Foods | Paying Like One Of The Cool Kids
Having heroically spent, and attempted to spend, it was time to eat.
Our reporter said the following.
"It was smooth sailing at Subway, where I was told me it was popular among teens, and at Whole Foods, the cashier expanded the age range to 20-somethings, saying, “We see people using it all the time, especially people your age."
Was that a compliment?
We choose to believe it was.
McDonalds And Walgreens | Feeling Decidedly Less Cool (And Then Cool Again)
We can walk and chew gum at the same time. No problem. We can not talk and pay with Apple at the same time, as science does not allow it.”
At McDonald’s, Apple Pay doesn’t work if you’re currently on the phone with someone. I got off the call and tried to use Apple Pay but it was a no-go. The cashier did not seem pleased."
Walgreens employees, meanwhile, are always pretty pumped when someone uses Apple Pay—to the point where our reporter has decided that she really doesn’t ever want to use her leather wallet again.
Apple Store | Apple Eating Its Apple Pay Dog Food?
“We though we’d go to Apple Pay ground zero – the Apple Store to see Just how much Apple Pay was shaking there. What our reporter discover was well, sort of weird.
“The most surprising response about Apple Pay usage came at the Apple Store, where one employee told me she sees only four or five transactions per day with Apple Pay. When she suggests that they people use it, most say they are concerned about security."
Seriously? Do they not get tokens and secure element and Touch ID?
Panera | Second Time Is The Charm
QSR continued its streak of Apple Pay victories, as yet another meal went off without a hitch.
"For lunch at Panera Bread, the cashier said her register couldn’t accept the payment—but the next register over allowed NFC payments and was able to complete our order."
UT CO-Op Store | Easy Than Excepted To Get Ready For Kick-Off
Sure, lots of other publications might tell you about McDonald’s or Nike—but who else would send someone to Texas for you. Good news, Apple Pay is working fine for UT fans.
Our UT fan was all smiles.
"In Texas for a UT football game I hit the UT CO-OP Store so that I could be properly outfitted for game time. Apple Pay worked well, and was one of the many times that the cashiers were surprised—not that it worked, but that it was there at all."