back to article HSBC takes Twitter tongue-lashing over failure to offer Apple Pay

Apple Pay has upset a few people already. People who can’t get to work, people who’ve been charged twice, and people who bank with HSBC. HSBC has felt the wrath of Apple fanbois for failing to launch Apple Pay, with negative tweets about the bank outnumbering positive ones five to one on the day of launch. These are the …

  1. A K Stiles


    Maybe the Venn diagram of Nando's customers and Apple owners doesn't have a very large cross-over area? Or maybe Nando's customers are happy using (horrors!) cash, ordinary cards or possibly paypal if ordering takeaway via the web?

    (Icon for the Nando's extra extra hot sauce!)

    1. JeevesMkII

      Re: Nando's

      Or perhaps there just isn't anyone in the entire world tedious enough to tweet about how they bought quinoa at Nando's with their iPhone.

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Nando's

        You are mistaken.


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Public transport?

    TfL have warned iPeople to check the battery on their iThings before using ApplePay as if battery runs out between then bonking at start and end of journey then they may get charged the maximum amount for a non terminated journey ... and if they get challenged by a ticket inspector and find battery has run out then they may be deemed to be traveling without evidence of having paid and get a penalty fare.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ublic transport?

      Which is why the whole thing is destined to fail.

      You cannot rely on a means of payment that itself relies on a power source.

      There is no logic to using Apple Pay as there will always be somewhere that will not accept it, and with most stores adopting tap'n'pay, I personally have no further requirements for a different payment method. Not to mention the fact that you are again highlighting a risk by having your phone, etc, out to pay for things, just waves a far more accessible high value item in the face of potential thieves.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Public transport?

        Exactly. I currently have three NFC-equipped cards, one of which is my "safety account" in which I only keep a small balance, for use in cities and crowds. Why do I want another form of NFC which depends on an internal and inaccessible power source, when I already have a backup? This isn't just a solution in search of a problem; it is a solution which is not as good as the existing ones.

        I've been using NFC in various places - including the National Trust, RNAS Yeovilton and Lidl, the first few to spring to mind - why is it even noteworthy?

        1. Frank Bough

          Re: Public transport?

          It's noteworthy because it's popular, all previous attempts have failed.

      2. bazza Silver badge

        Re: ublic transport?

        "You cannot rely on a means of payment that itself relies on a power source."

        Well that depends on how likely the device is to run out of power, and what form of payment or transport you're taking.

        Air travel isn't so bad. I've seen plenty of people use mobile phone based boarding cards. They don't let you on board unless you've already paid, so no one is interested if you're phone is flat by the time you land in Malaga or wherever. And even if you lose your phone you can easily get a paper boarding card replacement at the ticket desk (unless its Ryan Air or similar).

        Trains though, well that most certainly is a different matter.

        I've always thought NFC was a good idea for travel, especially in Oyster card form.

        * Lose your Oyster card, perhaps someone gets to travel free for a day until you get home and cancel the card online.

        * Lose your NFC credit card, well maybe then they get to take a bit more off you first.

        * Lose your phone and, presuming there's a fingerprint reading or PIN extra security step, no one gets your money. However they do have your phone, which might be worse...

      3. Frank Bough

        Re: ublic transport?

        But that's just the thing, Apple pay isn't a new payment method, it's just a digital wallet for your existing payment methods. If it doesn't work, get your leather wallet out.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Public transport?

      That's no problem. Just find a socket on the train and charge your iPhone while travelling.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Public transport?

        Do that of any Tube or Overground train and you will be comitting an offence. you are stealing their leccy.

        Think I'm crazy? Well think again

        you have been warned.

  3. Gavman

    So how many tweets exactly did HSBC get? And why should they care?

    I'm just confused over why this is an issue, in the grand scheme of things - what is the percentage of people who pay by card vs apple pay?

    I'm not saying that NFC solutions built into phones wont become more popular (rightly or wrongly because apple have adopted the technology despite it having existing for a while) but why should any bank not going live with Apple Pay on launch day really care?

    Realistically there is no way this will have any meaningful impact on customer base, if your primary basis for which bank to go with is whether they support Apple Pay then fine, but for the majority of people (or thank banks for that matter) I really really don't think it matters one iota

    1. TakeTheSkyRoad

      None of this is important and in another statistic only 15% of the paragraphs in this article actually mention HSBC.

      However Brandwatch is mentioned LOTS meaning this reads more like like an ad than a researched journalistic article.

  4. wf4


    I didn't think it was even possible to spend £20 or less in Nando's?

    1. Agrado

      Re: Nando's

      Apple Pay doesn't have a £20 (soon to be £30) limit if the retailer's equipment recognises it as being Apple Pay rather than generic contactless payment - which apparently Nando's does.

  5. Tom 38 Silver badge

    HSBC rather shot themselves in the foot

    I'm an HSBC customer, on the morning that Apple Pay launched in the UK they emailed all of us to tell us that Apple Pay was was here...

    Coming later in July. A new way to pay with an HSBC debit or credit card using Apple Pay.

    Enjoy the benefits of an HSBC debit or credit card using Apple Pay.

    Apple Pay will change how you pay with breakthrough contactless payment technology and unique security features built into iPhone 6, Apple Watch, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. So you can pay in an easy, secure and private way.

    Thank you for your continued loyalty to HSBC.

    I guess this was "getting out in front of an issue", by telling everyone you have an issue and waiting for it all to hit the fan

  6. Mage Silver badge


    Why should ANY retailer, Bank, etc support the most parasitically, over priced and cynically priced Smart Phone Marketing company (who has a minority share) with their proprietary pointless payment system that only boosts Apple?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why?

      Because iPeople like being able to give 30% of there all to the iCompany.

      I presume that in common with all other iServices and iProducts that the iCompany takes a 30% cut of all monies passed through the iThing.

      1. ChrisB 2

        Re: Why?

        Nothing like keeping yourself well informed before uttering a pointless and wholly inaccurate iOpinion, is there?

      2. Agrado

        Re: Why?

        Your presumption is incorrect, Apple do not get a cut of Apple Pay transactions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why?

          > Your presumption is incorrect, Apple do not get a cut of Apple Pay transactions.

          That seems totally unbelievable, Apple ain't no charity. Apple will be taking a cut in much the same way that Visa or Mastercard take a cut. The day that a company doesn't take a cut somewhere is the day you need to start asking what's going on, coz it will mean that found a way to make you pay that you just haven't spotted yet.

    2. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      Whilst not wishing to attack or defend Apple in any particular way (I'll never own an iThing in my life if I can help it), weren't Google trying to take a whole lot more with Google Wallet?

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Why?

        We don't need Google Wallet either.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      Any retailer that supports NFC bonking also supports Apple Pay bonking. There are additional facilities available so that a retailer can know it was paid for by Apple Pay and therefore with 2 factor authentication so they can accept it for payments greater than £20.

  7. Greg J Preece

    Don't see the point

    Here in Canuckland, Interac Flash (tap-debit) is becoming ubiquitous, my debit card has it, it works perfectly fine and Interac is massively cheaper for retailers than any credit card processor. I can't see retailers going all out to install a more expensive, less convenient version that only a small percentage of their customers can use.

    1. s2bu

      Re: Don't see the point

      I don't get why people can't comprehend this.. There is nothing for retailers to do except enable NFC on their POS systems. If NFC works (eg, your NFC-based credit card), then Apple Pay already "just works".

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: Don't see the point

        Oh, really? I thought it required a particular terminal. I must have been misinformed, and let's be honest, it's not like Apple to do anything in a standardised or easily-accessible way, so it's easy to believe. Thanks for putting me right. :-)

        Still, over here I wouldn't go encouraging its use when the Interac service is superior. That much is still accurate.

  8. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Rotten to the core

    The ability for the average prawn to get any use out of HSBC 's online services supposing they forget any one of a long list of unrecoverably hard to remember code words/passwords is starting to bother me now that Apple have some unspecific hook to my money. I almost read something about it before deciding to go to another machine rather than wait in the queue this afternoon. (Both machines were borked, so I suppose I should have mulled it.) I suppose I could always go in tomorrow and reassure myself it isn't true. /Or open an account at the bank on the corner. ANY EFFFING Corner.

  9. Obitim

    That's a pretty big issue really...

    Brandwatch's Marcus Beard told The Register that since the survey Apple Pay's vibe has taken a plunge with the news that if your phone goes flat on the Tube you'll get a penalty fare when you can't bonk to get out.

    And if you use a charger at the station you'll likely be arrested too!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fastest and easiest way to pay

    If the "fastest and easiest way to pay" only has a 50% chance of working then the technology is clearly not useful yet.

    Never mind the bloody thing having a flat battery when you need it in the evening.

  11. Tubz

    HSBC doesn't like this type of payment system, as not as easy to hide money laundering !

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Contactless/NFC overrated

    I seriously think both of these are being overhyped and sooner rather than later someone will find a massive security hole and exploit it big time.

    I don't use contactless but to my annoyance I once handed my debit card to someone behind the counter where I was buying a burger who swiped it over their reader.

    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.

    I'd prefer to spend a bit more time properly authenticating a transaction than having to argue with a bank to get my money back or with a credit card company as to why a transaction was not by me when some scumbag swipes the details and goes shopping.

    I gather that unlike contactless Apple Pay has no transaction value limit.

    I wonder how the frst victim of a security breach will feel when Apple tries to shift the blame, will they still be singing the praises of their favourite, overpriced consumer electronics purveyor?

    1. Richard Cranium

      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.

    2. pnony

      Re: Contactless/NFC overrated

      Well, if your bank won't provide the services you want, threaten to switch banks, and follow through if they won't play ball.

      Not that I would necessarily *recommend* HSBC, but I have much the same opinion of the security of contactless, so I asked for a non-contactless card and they issued one without quibbling. I should try for a Chip&Sign card next…

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's for the "more money than sense" brigade

    I notice that the fuss seems to be related to the more expensive providers: Apple the expensive smart-phone, Waitrose the expensive supermarket ("Waitrose users really struggled, with 74.4 percent of customers taking to Twitter to vent their frustration"), HSBC the expensive bank.

    But surely a visit to Waitrose is going to cost more than the £20 Apple Pay limit.

    Anyway might a better headline be along the lines of "Some iPhone using Waitrose' customers disappointed by HSBC delay..."

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019