Slideshow 6 of Apple Pay's Rookie Mistakes

Published
  • October 02 2015, 2:02pm EDT
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Apple Pay has been out for a year, so many of its partners have had time to reflect on the various issues it has faced since launch. Bank and credit union executives shared their experiences at SourceMedia's 2015 PayThink event at the end of September.

Android Avoidance

By making Apple Pay work only on iOS devices, Apple shut out half the market. State Employees Credit Union of North Carolina delayed its Apple Pay implementation because "We ... did not feel that we could launch a product to support 51% of our members when we did not have an alternative for the other 49%."

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Easily Forgotten

Even the people who rushed to get Apple Pay barely use it. A recently published Pulse survey shows that the average debit cardholder who has signed up for Apple Pay uses the mobile wallet just once every three months. Individual financial institutions report similarly low activity.

Marketing Meltdown

It's hard for a bank or credit union to use Apple Pay as a differentiator, so many don't bother. First Financial Credit Union chose to rely on others to advertise Apple Pay, and spent just $2,500 to promote the wallet to its own members through statement stuffers.

Poor Penetration of Contactless

Even though Apple Pay came to the U.K. over half a year after it debuted in the U.S., Santander still chose to wait for the U.K. launch because of the region's better penetration of contactless payment terminals. But even in the U.K., "it's similarly not an overwhelming thing where people start using it and spending like crazy," said Santander's Geoffrey Brown.

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Launch Day Glitches

Bank of America customers who were Apple Pay early adopters reported being double-charged for purchases made with Apple's mobile wallet. The problem was quickly fixed, but not before generating a lot of media attention.

Different Launch, Different Glitches

Apple Pay's U.K. launch followed the launch of Apple Watch, making it possible for an Apple fan to carry two Apple Pay-compatible devices at once. Some consumers were thus charged twice using an iPhone to check into London's public transit system and an Apple Watch to tap out, since each gadget was seen as a different user.