Re: Contactless/NFC overrated
"I did actually ask whether I could have a card without contactless because I was concerned about the security and was told this wasn't an option." You probably weren't persistent enough, most banks will reissue as contactless if requested but Plan B is to disable contactless by a small cut in the edge of the card severing the NFC antenna (Google for instructions).
Apart from that - why do we now appear to be run by the twitterati? It seems to me that a small vocal minority are getting disproportionate coverage. It would be interesting to see a venn diagram showing the overlap (intersection) of HSBC customers, iPhone users (just the NFC equipped iPhone model) and (active) Twitter users.
Of course organisations like Brandwatch will misrepresent a few thousand twitterers as somehow representative of the other 60million plus in UK but reputable polling organisations go to great lengths to get a true cross-section. And Apple will be very happy about the publicity. (Is Brandwatch in the pay of Apple - or hoping to be? or am I unduly cynical?). Were a polling company to ask, on a properly statistically balanced population sample "does it matter that if you bank with HSBC you'll have to wait a few more months before you can use Apple pay" - I suspect that 99.999% of respondents would either not know what you're talking about or would not care: don't bank with HSBC; don't have an iPhone; do have an iPhone but don't like NFC anyway; do have an iPhone but it's an older model without NFC; do have an iPhone but don't see any benefit relative to a contactless credit/debit card; do bank with HSBC & have an NFC capable iPhone but happy to wait a few months so everyone else can discover whether it's practical, safe, reliable and useful.
(BTW, why has HSBC been singled out? As I understand it Barclays, Lloyds, Co-op and Halifax were not ready on day one either.)
Personally I see no benefit compared with using an NFC enabled card and can see loads of negatives: flat battery,can't access my money; phone went flat or got stolen on the tube so I can't terminate journey and face a penalty; phone needs initial setup/configuration to validate card; more complex payment procedure - activate phone while close to payment terminal, select which card (discover that your choice of Amex is one the retailer doesn't accept?), validate with finger-print (is all that really practical at a tube station at rush hour?); the opportunity to wave your £500 phone in a crowded place (public transport) so the pickpockets know who to target.
I also wonder about the economic model of NFC in general. Many retailers won't accept credit cards for small payments (commonly a £5 or £10 minimum) because the minimum transaction fees they have to pay takes too big a slice of their revenue - does that mean those retailers will not accept NFC for small sums?
BTW some statements seem to imply that raising the payment limit from £20 to £30 is an Apple Pay thing, it's not, it's a change to NFC limits, card payments will also see the raised limit.