Is Apple Pay Worth The Time Sucking Annoyance of Getting It Set Up?
November 19, 2016 5:28 AM   Subscribe

Trying to set up Apple Pay on a new iPhone SE has been a huge and aggravating and unsuccessful time sink. It "Just Fails". If you use Apple Pay, do you like it? How often do you use it? In what circumstances do you still pull out a credit card? After 9+ hours of phone time with Apple support and card issuer support, turns out the card I use daily is not eligible for Apple Pay because it was issued to me several years ago to replace a "partner" card. Apple does not support "partner" cards. Obtained new, the card is fine with Apple Pay. But, my card, in effect, was grandfathered back to the "partner" card. The card issuer has no solution other than applying for a new card. A second card with a different card issuer can't be activated because the card issuer is texting a verification code to the wrong number. They "don't know" why, so they've opened ticket.
posted by justcorbly to Computers & Internet (28 answers total)
Apple Pay saves me those annoying seconds waiting for the chip cards to do their thing, and I like having my purchase amount showing up on my phone screen to remind me what I've spent. I use it at the pharmacy and the grocery store. I would have to use it for decades, though, for it to add up to hours of time savings! Sounds like maybe you should wait until you happen to get a new credit card, for other reasons, and then try again.
posted by wyzewoman at 6:38 AM on November 19, 2016

I do use Apple Pay, started making a point of using it when available. I'd say it works better than a physical card 3/4 of the time. I find it's easier to take my phone out of my pocket than fish my card out of the wallet. I also like that many Apple Pay POS systems have no printed receipt and no signature required. Although that's not consistent. The only thing I don't like is the spooky magic UI for activating the card payment; I'm still not sure what hand gesture is required on the iPhone to bring it up. Double tap the home screen? Unlock the phone? Just hold it close to an Apple Pay device? No idea.

I like it, but I wouldn't have jumped through a lot of hoops to set it up. I never had any trouble with the setup, my Visa card just worked.
posted by Nelson at 6:39 AM on November 19, 2016

I find Apple Pay to be a convenience, but not one that I would go through the inconvenience you're going through to have.

The thing I like most is that I don't have to fumble around in my purse to take out/replace my card when I'm also dealing with packages/bags, and it's quick so there's no awkward waiting for the chip to go through.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:31 AM on November 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I use it fairly often and like it a lot. It does depend a lot on the specific places you shop, though. For example, my main grocery store takes Apple Pay but none of the other grocery stores nearby do.

Would I apply for a brand new card just to use Apple Pay? Probably not. But I think it's a good idea in general to have more than just one card, if for no other reason than that it gives you a backup if the main one won't work. So, if I were in your shoes, I'd kill two birds with one stone -- apply for another card that will both serve as a backup, and work with Apple Pay.

FWIW, I have six cards in Apple Pay from basically all of the major US issuers, and none took more than a minute or so to set up.
posted by primethyme at 7:34 AM on November 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

Sorry, one other thing. If something is causing the Apple Pay verifications to go to the wrong phone number, I'd be more worried about that than about getting a card that works. I've never heard of that happening, and it would make me worry that something is deeply wrong with the configuration of your device or account somewhere, which may have other implications. Was this a used device? Was the number ported between carriers? Are you using a non-standard SIM card? I don't know what would cause this, but I'd like to revise my "if I were in your shoes." I would prioritize figuring out what is going on there, and getting it fixed, even if you decide you don't care about Apple Pay. If someone else is receiving verification notifications that should be going to you, there are a lot of potentially bad scenarios...
posted by primethyme at 7:41 AM on November 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

primethyme: the bank is (allegedly) sending the verification messages. The Apple device, or Apple itself, is not involved in rhthe verification process.
posted by sideshow at 8:04 AM on November 19, 2016

I like having a payment method set up on my phone in case I lose or forget my wallet.
posted by Candleman at 8:15 AM on November 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

the bank is (allegedly) sending the verification messages.

Yes, sorry, I misread the OP. Disregard that part (though I'd still be wanting to know why one of my banks is sending my info to someone else's number).
posted by primethyme at 8:16 AM on November 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I use it all the time - all the grocery stores and drug stores I use have it. I use my card instead...when a place doesn't have ApplePay. My phone is quicker than the chip verification process, I don't have to take out my wallet and fumble around, there's no risk I'll forget/drop/lose my card. I had no trouble setting it up. I don't know what a "partner" card is but it sounds like your troubles aren't really about ApplePay. You need to fix whatever is wrong with that 2nd card anyway, so once that's done, just set up ApplePay there.
posted by donnagirl at 8:26 AM on November 19, 2016 [5 favorites]

I use it but only on the Apple Watch. It has never let me down and is probably the best thing about the watch, especially for going on public transport. Recommend.
posted by Coda Tronca at 8:33 AM on November 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

I like it for stuff like uber, hoteltonight, dunkin donuts, starbucks, etc- many of these apps can hit apple pay directly, and the app vendors don't get my CC#, so I can control when the card reloads, etc.
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:44 AM on November 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have never had a single problem adding cards to Apple Pay and the only problem using it is that most stores around here don't accept it.
Your experience is atypical. Forget that card and try another one.
posted by w0mbat at 8:46 AM on November 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

I like and use Apple Pay. You can use it anywhere the contactless payment symbol appears on the credit card terminal. It's much more convenient than digging in my bag for a wallet, and then waiting for the chip and pin dance. And the retailer doesn't receive you actual card number, so you're not hit by security breaches.

Someone above mentioned not being sure how to trigger it. To trigger Apple Pay, from the lock screen double tap the home button to bring up Apple Pay, and then rest your finger on the button to allow Touch ID to validate your fingerprint. Hope that helps!
posted by bluloo at 8:53 AM on November 19, 2016

Yeah I have Apple Pay on my watch and phone and really love it. It took me less than 5 minutes to set up on both devices. I use it anywhere I can find Apple Pay at a store. I use it because it's faster, more convenient, and from what I've read, more secure. In my experience, the folks I know who had trouble setting it up are using cards from banks that don't support it. My husband can't use his card for example because it's issued from a small bank and they aren't set up for something like this.
posted by FireFountain at 9:10 AM on November 19, 2016

I love Apple Pay. I would not go through the aggravation you're going through to make it work.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:15 AM on November 19, 2016

It's nice, but it's no faster than just tapping with your card. I will often have my phone out if I'm waiting in a line, so it's nice to be able to use it to pay, but it's not quicker than regular tap.
posted by Nightman at 10:39 AM on November 19, 2016

I love Apple pay for the speed it offers for a transaction.

What I don't like about it is the reactions some cashiers will have if they are unfamiliar with the technology. A pet peeve of mine is having to explain how it works over and over again. I honestly think Apple needs to do a better job explaining how it works.
posted by 81818181818181818181 at 11:56 AM on November 19, 2016

What I don't like about it is the reactions some cashiers will have if they are unfamiliar with the technology.

I'm in my 40s and I like using Apple Watch to pay in pubs because the London hipster bar staff all think it's pretty silly (Apple Watch is deeply uncool from start to finish). In one pub they even call me 'Iron Man'.
posted by Coda Tronca at 12:00 PM on November 19, 2016 [4 favorites]

It's handy where it works, but it's less than a third of my transactions.
posted by wotsac at 12:33 PM on November 19, 2016

It's nice, but it's no faster than just tapping with your card. I will often have my phone out if I'm waiting in a line, so it's nice to be able to use it to pay, but it's not quicker than regular tap.

If OP is in the US it's unlikely they have the tap chip; which is one of the reasons Apple/Android Pay, etc, are so easily marketed here.

Chiming in with "It's great." I use it everywhere that supports it, which in the US should be everyone by the end of 2016, because they'll need the new terminals that support chip & pin, which almost all support NFC pay.
posted by sixfootaxolotl at 12:39 PM on November 19, 2016

@PrimeThyme: It's an old number of mine that the card issuer wants to text that verification code. Likely the number I had years ago when I got that card. Why that's happening when the only number anyone can find there is my current number is the thing they don't know.
posted by justcorbly at 12:45 PM on November 19, 2016

I live in the US, and have never even SEEN the "just tap the card to pay" situation. Here, it's all:

1. Swipe the card, using the mag stripe (legacy only)

2. Use the new time-eating chipreader, which leaks all your info to the merchant in addition to taking longer; or

3. ApplePay, which is both crazy fast AND secure, and leaks very little info to the merchant.

Of these options, I take ApplePay every damn time. Since I got an Apple Watch, it's even MORE cool -- especially when I'm off cycling somewhere and want to buy a water or an energy bar. I know which convenience stores take it now. :)
posted by uberchet at 12:50 PM on November 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I assume you also have an Apple ID? Might that old phone number be attached to that account?
posted by Thorzdad at 12:54 PM on November 19, 2016

I assume you also have an Apple ID? Might that old phone number be attached to that account?

The number comes from the card issuer and not Apple, so that wouldn't be it, unfortunately.
posted by sixfootaxolotl at 1:08 PM on November 19, 2016

Here in NZ, there's only one bank that uses Apple Pay as the rest are an Australian consortium who are holding out. Needless to say, I opened an account with that bank even though they're hopeless at customer service. Took days to open the account, but now I have I do well over half my transactions through Apple Watch. If they don't have contactless payment then I have to use a card, but I try to avoid those shops that don't accept it. Apple Pay is the way to go for sure.
posted by tillsbury at 7:16 PM on November 19, 2016

I love Apple Pay as a consumer, and I love customers who use Apple Pay when I am at work. It has made such a difference for me time/convenience wise. Hope you're able to get yours to work!
posted by Hermione Granger at 7:51 PM on November 19, 2016

I only ever use Apple Pay as a novelty at Whole Foods. It's kind of convenient. The difference between "get phone out and press button" and "get wallet out, remove card, insert into terminal, wait, sign terminal, take card back, and place in wallet" is not that big a deal. Not what I would call "life transforming", but nice.
posted by theorique at 9:21 AM on November 20, 2016

With the Apple Watch, it's a whole lot easier than that. 'Double click and tap watch against terminal' is as handy as it can be. I now resent shops that make me take my phone/wallet out of my pocket just because they're being cheap. It's progress, and the shops that don't keep up will lose business, just like those shops that held out accepting credit cards a few decades ago.
posted by tillsbury at 10:05 AM on November 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

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