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Apple Pay Review: Fees, Complaints, Comparisons & Lawsuits
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Apple Pay Payment Processing
Apple Pay is a mobile wallet application for all iPhone models after the iPhone 6 and for the Apple Watch. It utilizes the iPhone’s NFC capability in conjunction with a built-in fingerprint scanner to enable customers to pay for products with their phones at physical retail locations and within various iPhone and iPad apps. In September 2018, Apple also added the ability to send money to other Apple Pay users in the Messages app (known as “Apple Pay Cash”), similar to Venmo or Square Cash.
On August 20, 2019 Apple launched the Apple Card. The card integrates into Apple Pay users’ digital wallets. The card also provides users with similar benefits to conventional credit cards. Those benefits include 3% cashback for purchases from Apple, and 2% for any purchase made using Apple Pay.
Competes with Samsung and Google
Before they can use the service, Apple Pay users are first required to enter their card information into each device’s Wallet application, where the card information is tokenized and stored. They can then use Apple Pay to make purchases at all NFC-enabled credit card terminals with just a tap of their phones. Apple Pay’s primary competitors are Samsung Pay and Google Pay. Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple, whose headquarters are located at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California.
Apple Pay Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Apple Pay is free for users.
- Complaints & Service: Apple Pay has received generally positive reviews from experts and users.
- BBB Rating: Apple Pay does not have a profile with the Better Business Bureau at this time.
- Sales & Marketing: Apple Pay comes pre-installed on iPhone 6 and later models as well as on the Apple Watch.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Can Get The Most Out Of Apple Pay
Apple Pay Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||20+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||User Abuse|
Largely Positive Feedback
Many positive Apple Pay reviews mention its ease of use, powerful security features, and all-around convenience. Most expert reviewers acknowledge that it is a useful payment method and that it operates as advertised, but they also consistently cite a lack of participating locations as a major drawback. Several Apple Pay complaints echo this frustration, and many wish the service was available in older iPhone models.
Room for Improvement
Most reviewers still see loyalty card integration as a major opportunity for improvement, and it appears that there is some inconsistency with how Apple Pay interacts with different terminals—e.g., tip interfaces and “confirm payment” prompts. There have also been reports of users who use Bank of America cards being double-charged through Apple Pay, but it appears that this glitch has been corrected. Additionally, there have been complaints of poor performance when making in-app purchases.
More Reviews to Come
Since Apple Pay is bundled with the Apple Wallet app, it does not have its own profile in the App Store. Since NFC payments have yet to gain traction in the payments world, it is likely that more consumer reviews will appear in the coming years.
Apple Pay Lawsuits
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Apple Pay. There have been a number of Apple Pay patent lawsuits, but the company continues to win these or they get dismissed. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
In early 2020, Apple agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle litigation associated with intentionally slowing down older versions of iPhones to incentivize users to purchase new products or batteries.
Apple Pay Customer Service Options
Apple hosts a dedicated customer service page for its Apple Pay service for users to troubleshoot issues with using the features and reviewing security and privacy concerns. However, speaking with a customer service representative must be done through Apple’s general customer support services.
Apple Pay Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
No Dedicated Profile
The Better Business Bureau does not maintain a profile specifically for Apple Pay at this time. We therefore will not factor a BBB rating into our review at this time.
Apple Pay Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Apple Pay Cash Debit Rate||0%|
|Apple Pay Cash Credit Rate||3%|
|Apple Pay Cash Transaction Limit||$3,000|
|Apple Pay Cash Monthly Limit||$10,000|
Simple To Use
Apple Pay offers one of the simplest transaction experiences of all smartphone mobile wallets currently on the market. The process is as follows: Customers simply hold the phone against an NFC-compatible terminal, place one finger on the iPhone’s home button when prompted, and wait for the transaction to finish. The entire process only takes a few seconds and doesn’t require the user to unlock the phone, select a card, enter a PIN, or type in card information. Apple Pay does not charge a fee for debit transactions though a rate of 3% applies to purchases made with credit cards.
Touch ID Feature
This ease-of-use is made possible by the iPhone’s Touch ID feature, which verifies the user’s identity using a preauthorized fingerprint. In theory, this makes it impossible for Apple Pay to process a payment unless the phone’s approved user is holding the device. As a result, the user can set a default card for all transactions and trust their iPhone to automatically interact with any NFC-enabled payment terminal, since no payments will occur without the user’s fingerprint.
Secure Apple Watch Use
Apple Watch users can utilize Apple Pay by double-tapping the watch’s side button and holding the watch up to a contactless terminal until the transaction is complete. Upon initial setup, Apple Watch owners will be prompted to set a PIN in order to access the Apple Pay app. Then, each time the watch is removed from the user’s wrist and then put back on, the user will need to enter this PIN in order to use Apple Pay. This helps to prevent unauthorized use of the app while also limiting the number of times a user has to enter his or her PIN.
Apple Pay is also compatible with nearly all major card issuers, including American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Barclaycard, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, USAA, and US Bank. Many regional banks and credit unions are also supported (full list here), but not every card-issuing bank is compatible with Apple Pay at this time.
Loyalty Card Integration
The only major feature that Apple Pay lacked previously was the ability to store and track loyalty cards. Apple Pay loyalty card support now exists for a number of retailers, including JCPenny, Walgreens, and various restaurants. Apple Wallet allows users to store their loyalty cards in their phones, and Apple Pay can now automatically apply discounts linked to these cards for several, but not all, merchants.
Solid Security Measures
In terms of security, Apple Pay requires the fingerprint of an authorized user or a PIN in order to process a payment, making it impossible for a thief to commit fraud unless he or she can somehow deceive the fingerprint scanner or guess the user’s PIN. In addition to the identification required for each in-store transaction, Apple Pay will allow users to remotely deactivate their Apple Pay accounts in the event of theft. This is a secondary countermeasure against unauthorized users making one-touch in-app or online purchases with Apple Pay. This kind of feature compares favorably to our list of processors with the best merchant services.
If a thief obtains access to the user’s phone, the user’s credit card details will not be compromised because Apple does not store the card data itself on the device. Instead, Apple Pay tokenizes each card’s data, replacing it with a chain of letters and numbers that is itself meaningless but can be decoded by Apple and the card networks. So if the actual token itself is somehow intercepted, it will be worthless to the fraudster who has obtained it.
Apple stated that it will not save or share users’ transaction information, although this claim is nearly impossible to verify.
Apple Pay Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||Yes|
Straightforward Free Service
Apple markets Apple Pay as a free service for anyone with a compatible iPhone. Apple Pay comes pre-installed on compatible Apple devices, but users will need to add their payment details to the app in order to activate it. The service is free for iPhone users, so it doesn’t even seem possible for Apple to somehow misrepresent its costs in its advertising. This compares favorably in its category to our list of best credit card processors.
The Next Generation of Payment Processing
Like all other products that Apple offers, the company predicates its marketing of this service on its innovative nature. Cut from the cloth of its typical “the future is now” marketing approach, Apple Pay is marketed as a method for payment processing that is already becoming ubiquitous, making traditional merchant accounts all but obsolete. The service is beneficial for merchants who are not charged a fee for debit transactions while credit card payments are charged a flat rate of only 3%. One component of the service is its reliance on NFC technology which allows customers to use their iPhones to process payments. This requires merchants to use payment processing terminals that are NFC compatible, though Apple Pay does not provide that hardware to merchants at this time.
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