I have spent the last several days in New York City with my 9 year old daughter. We’ve had a blast. We’ve also had the opportunity to field test Apple Pay in the big city.
It worked brilliantly everywhere I tried it except in one NYC taxi. It turned out that cab’s whole credit/debit system was offline. Panera, FAO Schwartz, Whole Foods, and even the photo booth inside the Toys R Us in Times Square worked flawlessly. I did not have to take my card out of wallet, let alone my wallet out of my pocket.
I know Android devices have had NFC payment capabilities for a while, but I keep running into places that have had NFC payment options for several years and have never seen anyone use them. Suddenly they are. In Macon the other day I had to buy some shoes for my 5 year old. In Champs, I paid with my iPhone. The manager said in three years he’d never had anyone use the system.
I have wondered about NFC. Not using Android, I didn’t really understand practically how it worked. Seeing it now, I can see some awesome potential. Why not open my car or start it? How about doors? Some hotels are apparently going to start doing that.
But the convenience overall of Apple Pay can’t be overstated. Some places still require you to go through the hassle of putting in your number or pressing buttons. Panera, though, was perfect. I just paid with no additional steps. Even if not solidly more convenient, it felt safer. No one came into contact with my credit card information. It was secure. Traveling in New York, I liked that a lot.
I can’t wait for more places to use Apple Pay.