Screen Shot 2014 10 20 at 4.37.56 PMBI Intelligence

Apple Pay launched yesterday afternoon on iPhone 6 devices as part of the iOS 8.1 update. The BI Intelligence team tested out Apple Pay's point-of-sale capabilities around launch time and over the course of the afternoon.

We used an iPhone 6 and linked both a Chase and Bank of America credit card to the system.

We had five main findings:

  1. Set-up was easy and seamless. 
  2. Retail employees were uninformed about Apple Pay, which may slow adoption (cashiers and shop clerks won't be able to help along or encourage reticent or confused potential users).
  3. Apple Pay does make shopping easier and worry-free. It does require fewer steps than cash or credit for in-store shopping, while at the same time feeling more secure. 
  4. Trying to complete a refund with Apple Pay was difficult.
  5. In-app purchase options were limited. 

1. THE SET-UP PROCESS WAS EASY AND SEAMLESS 

Users first have to download the iOS 8.1 update, and after that's completed, users have to open up the Passbook app to find the Apple Pay setup link. The instructions were clear and simple. (See image, at the top of this note.)

  • Users can enter their credit/debit card number by hand or they can opt to take a picture of their card, which will automatically input the appropriate data.
  • Users would then have to verify their card by entering the card's security code, which is emailed to the user by their bank. This last security feature appears to be bank-specific. For instance, Chase asked for, and sent us an email with a code, which we had to enter before using the card with Apple Pay; Bank of America did not.

2. RETAIL EMPLOYEES WERE UNINFORMED ABOUT APPLE PAY, BUT THE SYSTEM IS SIMPLE ENOUGH THAT WE WERE STILL ABLE TO USE IT TO BUY THINGS

We visited 11 brick-and-mortar retailers that have been mentioned in the press or on the Apple Pay site as partners. We did so in one of Manhattan's busiest commercial districts, Union Square. At eight of these retailers, store clerks did not know whether they accepted [...]