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Apple Pay for iOS 8.1: A Hands-on Review

First Posted: Oct 22, 2014 04:51 PM EDT
Apple Pay

Photo : Robert C. Weich III

I was very excited to get going with Apple Pay on Monday. I quickly updated my iOS to 8.1 and prepared to use my phone to buy stuff. Once I started using the system, I was disappointed and I will tell you why.

First, I bank with U.S. Bank, a very popular bank across the United States. For months they posted on their website "get ready for Apple Pay with U.S. Bank." Monday rolls around and they do not even have support for it yet. As of Wednesday, there is no mention of Apple Pay on the bank's homepage.

Next, I realized that I would have to use another card to perform my first ever Apple Pay transaction. I registered my American Express card, received a verification text message and I was all set to go.

Once I found that in order to access Apple Pay you have to go to your Passbook app and find the card that you want to use. I was under the impression that you could just point your device without opening up a program. Maybe I am doing it wrong.

I headed over to McDonald's because I knew that they were one of the companies participating in Apple Pay. I opened up my Passbook app and asked the cashier how to do it. He said "just open the app and point it here." Before I could do that though, I had to type in my passcode. It sure doesn't seem like a one-step process, rather a three-step process.

The transaction went through and I got a text alert in my Passbook app saying where my last purchase was and when it was. It read "McDonald's: just now."

Later on that evening I tried my Apple Pay at a Walgreen's drug store. Since I knew how to use it, the process was a little smoother, but it still takes three steps to pay for something.

Today, I find out that Bank of America and several other banks are accidentally charging customers double for their Apple Pay transactions. That frightens me because I have a Bank of America card.

In conclusion, Apple Pay has quite a few bugs. It seems like an awesome idea, but it has to operate faster and easier or I will just continue sliding my cart like I did in the past.

What do you think of Apple Pay? Is it really as good as they say it is?

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