Review: Apple Pay in 2021

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Appleosophy | Review: Apple Pay in 2021
Apple Pay coming to partners Customer checking out with Apple Pay at Target 01222019 big

Apple Pay has been out for several years now, believe it or not, with its initial release in 2014.

Throughout even the last couple of years, the service has made strides to add more and more merchants to its list and get more people to use what is arguably the most secure and convenient payment method on the market right now.

I personally have been using Apple Pay since 2016 when I got my iPhone 6 (I currently use an iPhone 8 Plus). The first purchase I made in a store with it was Staples in Mason City, Iowa, and the first online purchase I made with it was the Target app before Target started accepting it in its stores in 2019.

Appleosophy | Review: Apple Pay in 2021

I have been using Apple Pay on my Apple Watch since the days of my Apple Watch Series 1 that I also received in 2016.

Appleosophy | Review: Apple Pay in 2021

On top of using my debit card with Apple Pay, I was approved for an Apple Card nearly two years ago and have been using that as well on my iPhone and Apple Watch.

Appleosophy | Review: Apple Pay in 2021

So what are some of my favorite features of Apple Pay right now? What does it have going for it?

Well, it does have that convenience that I noted earlier. It’s not only pulling out your iPhone or Apple Watch to pay for your items, but it is knowing that the business you are buying from is not getting your card information. It’s knowing that because they are not getting your credit/debit card number, you don’t have to worry to much about a data breach…because your card will not be affected by one.

When it comes to paying for items online, it is the simplicity of showing your face or using the fingerprint scanner on your iPhone or iPad to make that purchase go through. There is no need to manually type in your card information. It’s all right there in that Apple Pay button on the app or website you are purchasing from.

Even if someone were to get your Apple device like an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch, they’re going to either get through Face ID and Touch ID, or type in your number password to make a purchase. I like that type of security more than someone being able to get your credit or debit card and all of the sudden pretty much have access to making purchases on your cards.

Simple and secure. It does not get better than that.

Appleosophy | Review: Apple Pay in 2021

Apple is getting better at promotions regarding Apple Pay too. Although they are far from perfect and have much to be desired, there is plenty of room for growth and optimism when it comes to those promotions.

There are still a few issues that need to be addressed with Apple Pay, though.

The first is it needs to get retailers like Walmart, Home Depot and/or Lowe’s on board, especially Walmart. The fact that Walmart still does not have Apple Pay support in its stores is a crime in itself.

You could say there is some slight hope with Walmart in Canada bringing Apple Pay support to its stores last year, but the stores in the United States need their love too.

And Apple could be working on this too since it did put in one of their event keynotes last year to tell people to shop at Walmart.

Appleosophy | Review: Apple Pay in 2021

Yes, Walmart typically has the lowest prices but does not accept Apple Pay, so you would think that Apple would have promoted a company like Target that does accept Apple Pay in its stores and app.

Another feature Apple needs to add is a rewards program.

I know that Apple does have its Daily Cash with its Apple Card users, but for those who maybe cannot get approved or simply don’t want Apple Card, there should be a reward for using Apple Pay.

Appleosophy | Review: Apple Pay in 2021

Apple could have prizes like gift cards for iTunes and the App Store, as well as free trials of Apple TV+, gift cards to stores like Target, Subway, McDonald’s, etc. It could even do what Verizon does with its Verizon Up rewards program and offer tickets for sporting events or concerts.

Of course, there could be a Daily Cash program for Apple Pay where the money you earn from purchases goes to the user’s Apple Cash card.

If anything, it’s an idea.

The last aspect of Apple Pay that has to change that I don’t think Apple would have a lot of control over, but is something they need to look into, is getting Apple Pay support at the drive-thru.

More restaurants across the country need to be able to do Apple Pay payments at either the checkout menu at a drive-thru or have a device attached to the checkout window that would enable Apple Pay payments at the checkout and not require a cashier to hold out a card reader.

Appleosophy | Review: Apple Pay in 2021

Sure, it was nice to have that at places like McDonald’s during the pandemic, but we have the tech and opportunity to make that experience better.

Although we do have the option to place our orders through apps with Apple Pay and pick them up in the drive-thru, I do think it would be better if more restaurants just offered the Apple Pay option at the drive-thru without using an app.

It could also be the time that Apple incentivizes and gets more companies to use the new App Clips that we have not seen much of since their announcement last year. In fact, the only place we have seen that has added it is ExxonMobil, which is a 3% Daily Cash Apple Card merchant.

ExxonMobil now using App Clips NFC tags at the pump from ApplePay

It’s definitely something that Apple is going to have to encourage restaurant businesses to do in the future, especially after going through the type of pandemic that we are still currently in.

Given everything said here, Apple Pay is standing strong right now. It’s a service that I use almost every single day of my life, and a service that some of my friends use too.

It gets 3/4 stars for this year and is in a good situation to improve upon its rating throughout the rest of 2021.

Rating: 3/4 stars

What do you think of Apple Pay? How often do you use it? What’s your favorite feature or aspect about it? Comment below or let us know on Twitter at @appleosophy.

David Becker
Author: David Becker

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