Apple Pay's teething problems: US customers report double and even triple payments

Apple Pay uses the iPhone 6's Touch ID and NFC tech to pay in shops, but the US launch has revealed that the system is not perfect yet

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The Independent Tech

Experts think Apple’s new mobile payment service Apple Pay could revolutionize our wallets, but first it seems the company will have to sort out a few teething problems.

Users in the US have reported getting charged multiple times during transactions and that the system – which is secured by the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus – is often shaky in apps.

Bank of America admitted that it had been at fault for several instances of double payments, issuing a statement that it would be refunded all affected customers after users took to Twitter and Reddit to complain.

And in a review of the new service for the New York Times, tech journalist Molly Wood found that while using Apple Pay in stores was “convenient, problem-free and even fun” there was much more hassle involved when paying via apps.

“Uber initially let me request a car without signing in, but the app made me sign in after the car had been requested and then asked for an email and phone number,” reports Wood. “The multiple steps caused Apple Pay to authorize three separate payments of the Uber base fare.”

She reported similar difficulties when using the Instacart grocery app but noted that these faults lie with app developers not Apple. Several large companies including Amazon and eBay haven’t even integrated the service yet.

Despite these hiccups experts are bullish about Apple Pay’s long-term prospects. Although many companies have been trying to introduce NFC (Near Field Communication) payments on Android smartphones, the general opinion is that only Apple has the clout with both consumers and companies to push the tech into the mainstream.

Customers upload bankcards to the app and then pay in stores by holding their iPhones to the terminal and authenticating the purchase with their finger- or thumb-print.

Apple claims that Apple Pay is more secure than regular credit card payments or the European-favoured Chip & PIN system as the customers’ credit card number is hidden at all times; there’s no PIN for thieves to snoop on; and even if an Apple Pay-enabled phone is stolen it can’t be used without the right fingerprint.

Unfortunately, however useful Apple Pay may b, customers in the UK are going to be waiting a while to try it out. There’s still no confirmed launch date for the UK, with the only hint (from Visa chief Pedro Sousa) is that it’ll be available “sometime next year”.

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