Is Apple Wallet a good idea?
August 12, 2019 4:35 PM   Subscribe

Do any of you use Apple Wallet for your credit cards on an iPhone, and if so, why? I am wondering if there is a good reason to use it and if there are any drawbacks.
posted by mortaddams to Work & Money (25 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I do! Apple Pay is very convenient - no fumbling for a credit card, just grab your phone, and you authenticate with a thumbprint or code on your phone rather than having to sign or enter a PIN on a terminal. It’s my understanding that it’s at least as secure as a credit card (i.e. spoofing your mobile wallet is possible but currently much less likely than having your credit card skimmed or stolen).
posted by mskyle at 4:48 PM on August 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

I do. Why:

I can pay for things with contactless payments from my phone at many stores. That's usually faster at the register than using a chip card. If you have an Apple Watch, it's particularly convenient. The less I take my card out, the less likely I am to lose it.

Can use it for public transit in a few cities without ever having to visit a ticketing machine.

Can send/receive money with Apple Pay in iMessages. Most people I know prefer Venmo or Square Cash, but it works.

It's a good backup if I'm ever without my wallet.

Drawback: it's faster and feels less like spending money, so you might be more inclined to make purchases you wouldn't otherwise.
posted by zachlipton at 4:49 PM on August 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

The Apple Pay protocol is much faster than the protocol used by chip cards. When I pay with my Apple Watch or iPhone it takes just a few seconds for the transaction to go through. When I pay with a credit card, I feel like I'm standing around for a long time looking at a message that says "DO NOT REMOVE YOUR CARD."
posted by Winnie the Proust at 4:56 PM on August 12, 2019 [5 favorites]

I have my debit card in my Apple Wallet, because it's convenient. It means I don't have to have my physical wallet on me (though I usually do), I like getting digital receipts, and I store other e-things in my Apple Wallet like my REI membership card, tickets, boarding passes and such. As zachlipton says, it's particularly great for seamless public transit.

I am not aware of a downside. I mean, unless you're using actual folding money everywhere, your purchases are being fed into the Big Data machine, and Apple seems pretty OK, relatively speaking, about privacy. I instinctively trust them more than Google. Following with interest.

(There's also the Apple credit card, which is it's own thing, though it integrates with Wallet).
posted by mumkin at 4:57 PM on August 12, 2019 [3 favorites]

I use it occasionally when I'm at a retailer I know supports it in a competent manner (some systems make you jump through weird hoops, like clicking buttons on the terminal).

1) convenience, of course
2) Apple has no idea what I bought and...
3) ...the retailer has no idea what my credit card is. This means if they get hacked, my info is secure. I find this to be fairly important.
posted by aramaic at 5:03 PM on August 12, 2019 [12 favorites]

From a security standpoint, it’s quite secure, in that every use is a disposable card. I really like to use it at gas stations, where skimming of card numbers is rampant.
posted by rockindata at 5:05 PM on August 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

You can use it for some online retailers, too, which is much more convenient than entering your credit card info (and quite likely more secure, although I don’t know much about how this works on the back end).
posted by MadamM at 5:28 PM on August 12, 2019

I have been using it for a few years, mostly with my Citibank debit card. I would say it works about 99% of the time (Citibank's debit MasterCard doesn't like to play nice with some machines for some reason and it's a known glitch). I usually know which stores have a problem, so I will bring my wallet with me in those cases.

I really like that if you use the Fandango app to buy movie tickets, the digital tix automatically hop right on over to your wallet so you don't have to go searching for your email or PDF at the box office - they can scan the QR right at the ticket stand and you're in!

One thing you should know, if you do use Apple Wallet for a purchase and make a return, the receipt with give a completely random last four digit number. It scared the hell out of me the first time I had this experience. Muji insisted I produce a card I've never had possession of and was refusing a rather large return. We finally figured out it was Apple Pay and they processed the return without issue.

Point of reference, the Apple Wallet on my iPhone 8 was much glitchier than on my current Xs.
posted by dancinglamb at 5:51 PM on August 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't want the merchant to have my card number, I don't want to have to carry my wallet, I don't want to dig out a card from my wallet, etc.
posted by soelo at 5:55 PM on August 12, 2019

I do, for the same reasons as others above: convenient, fast, more secure if you're worried about card skimmers.

Drawback: accidentally choosing the wrong card to pay with. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I've done it multiple times. It's just no big deal to me because it's always for small purchases.
posted by yasaman at 5:58 PM on August 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

I initially thought it was a bad idea. Already have a debit card, so why bother? But now I love it, for security and convenience. Also, being able to pay with my Apple Watch is truly a little “We are living in the future” moment.
posted by hijinx at 6:25 PM on August 12, 2019

The vending machines in my office take it, and I more commonly have my phone than my wallet with me inside the building.
posted by praemunire at 6:31 PM on August 12, 2019

Yep, I use it. It’s fast and convenient and it’s the future.

If you’re a rewards card hacker (I’m not) it can help you there, too, as it makes swapping between the cards with the highest value rewards in any given context a bit less clumsy.
posted by notyou at 6:35 PM on August 12, 2019

I trust the technology, but i don’t use it. If i were taking my phone out of my coat pocket every time i did a transaction, the chances that eventually i’d fumble and drop my phone hard on the floor would go up immensely. For the same reason i don’t use my phone for my airplane boarding pass; the chances of dropping the phone in that situation (carry-on bags, other people, etc.) are much greater than in normal use.
posted by D.C. at 7:12 PM on August 12, 2019

I use Apple Wallet on both my watch and iPhone - that way I don't have to fumble with my wallet, plus I have receipts for all my purchases.
posted by Roger Pittman at 7:33 PM on August 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have used it for my debit card, but for some reason my bank does not play nice with Apple Pay for long and at some point it stops working. It was very convenient until it wasn't.
posted by Peach at 8:04 PM on August 12, 2019

I use Apple Pay with my Apple watch. Effortless, no fumbling. Life-changing!
posted by gryphonlover at 8:17 PM on August 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

As a few people mentioned, you can also put your debit card in your Wallet. More and more bank ATMs now support contactless as well, which means that if you're at your bank's ATM you can tap your phone/watch instead of inserting/swiping/possibly-leaving your debit card. WAY faster.
posted by homesickness at 9:21 PM on August 12, 2019

I love Apple Pay for all of the above reasons, plus not touching the terminal means less opportunities to pick up germs. But the speed compared to chip cards is really great too!
posted by wilky at 10:25 PM on August 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I haven't used any cash at all for almost a year and rarely take any plastic cards with me, just an Apple Watch.

In the UK there's a £30 limit for normal contactless but with ApplePay there's often no limit (ApplePay uses a more secure protocol and needs authentication)

One benefit others haven't mentioned: I've put on a bit of weight and I'm pretty sure my jeans have also shrunk a little, and not carrying anything in my pockets is giving me some breathing space before buying bigger trousers or dieting
posted by BinaryApe at 10:45 PM on August 12, 2019

I prefer to use contactless on my debit card because I’m not so practised at using it from my phone and am a bit clumsy/slow on the thumbprint recognition. I do use it on the days I forget my wallet.
posted by plonkee at 12:43 AM on August 13, 2019

I use ApplePay ALL THE TIME, whenever it's possible.

1. It's just faster than a traditional (US) credit card transaction.

2. It's more secure. Apple doesn't know what you bought, and the merchant doesn't get to track you, and doesn't need to be trusted with your credit card info. FWIW, this lack of data mining opportunities is still an issue for some merchants, who refuse to support it as a result, but I'm seeing this reluctance drop off at least in my local sample.

3. (Perhaps not applicable to you) Since nearly every gas station / c-store around accepts it, it's made buying drinks and snacks on long bike rides a lot easier.

Special Note for US people visiting the UK

You may or may not know this, but contactless card pay is nearly the rule now in the UK -- but most US cards aren't set up for that, and the "run my card and let me sign a voucher" process we think of as normal is a weird exception over there that may involve getting some senior employee to help you check out. Nobody wants this.

A GREAT workaround, though, is adding your normal US card to your ApplePay in your phone. We did this in June, and it streamlined basically every transaction. They looked at us a little funny -- phone based pay I guess hasn't taken off as much there? -- but ApplePay works as contactless for them, and everybody wins. No manager requried. ;)
posted by uberchet at 7:32 AM on August 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

I use Apple Pay when traveling in Europe because chip/pin payment is ubiquitous there and I don’t know my PIN for my credit cards. As mentioned above, signing the credit card receipt is non-standard there. Apple Pay allows me to use credit without the confusion that arises when I don’t know my PIN.

In the USA, it does so seem ubiquitous enough and I just habitually use the physical card
posted by u2604ab at 7:43 AM on August 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

In the USA, it does so seem ubiquitous enough and I just habitually use the physical card
My guess is that you mean "does NOT seem so...", & about which mileage varies a LOT. In retail situations, it's nearly universal -- even in small, locally owned one-off businesses like the coffeeshop down the street.

Granted, I'm in a very large city (Houston), but in my commercial life it's probably easier to enumerate the places notable for NOT taking it, such as one (and ONLY one) of the big local grocery chains, HEB.

(Hilariously, when I asked a hovering manager why they didn't take ApplePay, he said "privacy concerns." I'm certain that's what he was told to say, but it's transparently bullshit -- unless what they mean is that ApplePay provides TOO MUCH privacy for the user, which upon reflection may well be the reason.)
posted by uberchet at 8:07 AM on August 13, 2019

Paying with Apple Pay is my favorite thing about my Apple Watch.

We're living in the FUTURE, y'all.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 12:34 PM on August 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

« Older Looking for a bird specimen from AMNH   |   Choosing Oakland or NYC? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.