Apple Pay, which was unveiled to the world at the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, has officially launched in the U.S. today alongside iOS 8.1. Experiences with the service on its first day have been mixed, and notably, Eddy Cue this morning to acknowledged that in saying that Apple still has “a lot of work to do.” Some banks are requiring verification processes which are taking time, and some widespread credit card companies, like Discover, aren’t yet supported at all. But some experiences with Apple Pay have been seamless and it seems that, so far, the service is working as expected despite its slow roll-out.
Customers can use Apple pay at a wide variety of launch partners, including Aeropostale, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Foot Locker, Office Depot, Urban Outfitters, Apple’s own retail stores and many others. If you want to get your device set up to use the service, be sure to check out our guide to getting started with Apple Pay, and be sure to let us know what your experience has been so far. As for the rest of the internet, with the exception of some locations having employees who are simply uneducated about the service, it appears as if public opinion is fairly positive.
Piper Jaffray Apple analyst Gene Munster tested it out at a few locations and had this to say:
We tested Apple Pay at McDonald’s, Whole Foods, and Walgreens and were able to successfully compete our transaction at each location. We note that the McDonald’s and Whole Foods employees were aware of Apple Pay, but the Walgreens employee that helped us was not. We believe that stores depending on employee education at the local level might have varied experience across stores, but we expect participating store employees to all be up to speed after having Apple Pay for a month or two.
Walgreens uploaded a video showing off a demo of the service in one of its stores:
One experience at McDonalds got caught on video:
Another McDonalds experience was documented, in which one customer had an awkward encounter at the drive through:
Gizmodo gave the service what they called a “slightly rocky spin”:
Deciding to try our luck at Subway, we were met with a few “ums” and some confused looks when we asked about contactless payment. The store had just received the hardware that day, it seemed, and they were still getting the hang of things. After some discussion and deep study of the machine’s new instructions, the farthest we were able to get was bringing up a screen with a QR code—which is to say, not very far at all.
TechCrunch seems to have had a pretty good experience at Walgreens:
Holding my thumb to Touch ID and my phone to the payment terminal, it took about a second and a half to register at Walgreens and the same amount of time at McDonald’s. Don’t expect it to change the entire experience however: you still have to sign for the amount shown at the drug store and get a receipt to show to the cashier when picking up your order at a fast good joint.
Harry McCracken of Fast Company is going to try to use the service as his sole payment method for a week:
So in theory, I should be able to do this without major headaches or adjustments to my daily habits. We’ll see. I do reserve the right to let my wife pay for things if she happens to be around. And if the whole experiment is a fiasco, I will sheepishly terminate it before its scheduled conclusion next Sunday.
Reactions from Twitter users have been generally positive, but as I’ve experienced myself, Wells Fargo verification seems to be delayed:
The service is already inspiring some Vines, too:
Here’s the Verge’s initial run thru