Apple Pay shows day one promise but problems with in-app purchases

22 Oct 2014

The Apple Pay mobile payments system

As Ireland looks on at the US gaining access to Apple Pay, the first indications from users on its first full day show seamless use for contactless payment but not so much with in-app purchases.

Of course, this only applies to those with the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but those who have been using the Apple Pay system have reported that their payments through contactless machines in stores have worked as expected across multiple accounts.

When making a purchase, the user just has to put his or her phone up to the card reader once the phone is set up to accept Apple Pay payments with the addition of his or her fingerprint through the scanner and the transaction should go through instantly.

There are issues, however, as older machines may be able to register that a payment is being processed, but would still require the user’s signature. The US is only now about to adopt chip-and-PIN technology that has been in Europe and Ireland for a number of years.

More work required from app developers

And yet, issues have arisen from the usability of Apple Pay when making in-app purchases, which makes Apple slightly uneasy as it would put the responsibility of implementing a workable system with the app’s developers.

According to those using Apple Pay, so far only 20 apps have integrated Apple Pay into their code which often doesn’t go particularly smoothly, as journalist Molly Wood wrote in her piece about her experiences.

“I shopped for items using the Target app and instead of creating a new user ID and password and then entering a credit card, I just tapped the Apple Pay button and used my fingerprint to complete checkout. That was nice.

“But I did have to enter my shipping address before I could check out, and, annoyingly, I couldn’t add multiple items to my cart and then check out — I had to pay for them individually using Apple Pay.”

International use still possible

While the rest of the world’s iPhones haven’t been given access to Apple Pay, a number of cunning users have found a roundabout way of using them internationally by changing their location setting to the US and using a US-based credit or debit card.

TechSmartt in Canada has posted a video demonstrating how the system works. The video does warn it won’t work for most people and for those it does work for will be required to pay international transaction charges as it believes it is coming from a US customer.

Apple Pay image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic