back to article 18 million iPHONE USERS HAVE NEVER BONKED to ApplePay

Oh, what a surprise. NFC has failed to ignite the imagination of iPhone users, with 90 per cent of them shunning the payment method of the future. This is among the findings of stats-loving website InfoScout, which reports that of the approximately 20 million or so iPhone 6s which have been sold, 18 million have never been …

  1. Yugguy

    Meh

    Disabled it on my S3 mini and my Z3 Compact.

    It can get fecked.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      Best use of NFC on a phone is to confirm you've been able to disable touch payment on your credit card. Once you've done that, just disable it on the phone.

    2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Stick your existing wavey payment card inside your phone's case

      Heck. Go all in. Get the oldest and ugliest mobile telephone you can find, clear out a space inside the plastic housing (perhaps as simple as removing the battery), and embed your present Magic-Wavey-Payment RFID/NFC Bank or Oyster card inside. Worst case, cut down the excess card to fit.

      It'll be fun. Using some crazy old phone to apparently Bonk payments. Pretend you're talking to someone, walk up, and Bonk.

      This can be extended to other items, such as pets.

      1. CmdrX3

        Re: Stick your existing wavey payment card inside your phone's case

        "This can be extended to other items, such as pets."

        You want to bonk pets?????

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Needs a standard all people support. At the moment there's too many standards.

    1. Richard Jones 1
      Unhappy

      Re the Need For Standards

      I totally agree there need to be solid robust standards, but it also needs a real reason and benefit to be derived from its use. I have never even used wave to pay with a credit card partially because I rarely if ever have any small transactions below £20. Frankly I would be more interested in a card shield to block payments.

      As for getting a very expensive phone to wave about, why? People tell me all the wonderful things you can do with a so called smart phone, like watch the battery die as it runs up high data roaming costs, but why?

      My phone is stuck in an inside pocket and I use a headphone when I need to talk. No handling involved.

      Would I ever wave an expensive toy about to pay for something, yea shortly after hell freezes over!

      The question is why would I want to get a very expensive new phone just to wave it about when there are many other ways to pay? Having a problem with my hand recovering from an operation make it even less attractive as a payment method.

      Time will tell if this really has legs, the first few weeks are not likely to set out the long term impact. Some of those who have just bought a phone will happily try it out, some may even continue to use it but with the hassle of deciding which card(s) to store on the phone and then which one to use for a given transaction, thanks but no thanks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re the Need For Standards

        I guess Luddites are not the target market for new tech.

        It seems to me that replacing several credit cards, loyalty cards, cash, drivers licence, RAC membership and god knows what else with a phone you carry anyway isn't a crap idea. Waving a card is actually really quick and far more convenient than cash or card with pin. When it works that well on a phone I could just as easily say why would anybody carry a wallet around.

        As for your disability, I would think that waving a card or phone is far easier than dealing with cash or entering a pin.

        A giant shift like this has to start somewhere. I hope this answers your question.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re the Need For Standards

          It seems to me that replacing several credit cards, loyalty cards, cash, drivers licence, RAC membership and god knows what else with a phone you carry anyway isn't a crap idea.

          Well, it certainly makes it easier to steal them all in one go...

          1. Ian Joyner

            Re: Re the Need For Standards

            You don't understand - if your wallet gets stolen immediately thief can start using your cards. If they steal your iPhone, they have not got your fingerprint to operate it, thus it is useless to them. It is like a thief would have to steal a safe with money in it. Until they can open the safe they can't get the money. And by that time, iPhone would have been remotely disabled and maybe erased.

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: Re the Need For Standards

              If they steal your iPhone, they have not got your fingerprint to operate it,

              So in order to pay with my phone I have to get it out of my pocket, activate it with a fingerprint, present it to the reader, and wait for the transaction? All the while hoping some lowlife doesn't snatch it out of my hand?

              And this is more convenient than just handing over a fiver (or waving my wallet with my bank card in it) how?

        2. Richard Jones 1
          WTF?

          Re: Re the Need For Standards

          Sadly some new tech is only aimed at those who are not willing to evaluate its issues. In this case for many it is a solution looking for a problem, the question is does it solve or cause the problem?

          Apart from London's transport system I have yet to see anyone actually accepting these 'wonderful payment systems'. Perhaps I do not visit the emporia of the bright young things?

          The funny thing is that none of my cards ever get a flat battery like a £500 pocket stuffing mini computer does. The weird phone waving does not obviate carrying alternatives when the transaction goes over the floor limit or the shops or other outlets used are not impressed by the silo technology you have selected. Selecting the correct card on a god awful method like touch screen that requires a two handed juggle does not look or feel much like progress, but each to their own on that one. Having tried a few examples I hate touch screens with a vengeance.

          Barclaycard gave me the chance to disable their wave to pay ticket payment option. I willing accepted the offer since it is not likely to be any use. If I ever go to London it would be as part of a group, some of whom do not and will not have access to or the skill to use such financial payment methods.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re the Need For Standards

            While Apple's implementation of contactless payment appears to require having a charged phone, it is not a requirement of the technology. It's entirely possible to implement contactless payments so that they work even with a flat phone. For NFC stuff, there's already a power source, so low powered computing (such as the SIM card) works just fine.

        3. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Re the Need For Standards

          replacing several credit cards, loyalty cards, cash, drivers licence, RAC membership and god knows what else with a phone you carry anyway isn't a crap idea.

          Yes, replace cards with no intrinsic value with a £500+ gadget that has to be charged every 18 hours and get routinely targeted by thieves. What could possibly go wrong…

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re the Need For Standards

            @Tom38 Wallets have been routinely targeted by thieves for a while now. Isn't it easier to keep track of one thing than two?? And if that thing is a secured phone it's a lot safer than losing a wallet. And if those precious cards were also accessible via an online locker I could disable them all in less time than it took me to find out the phone number for one of my lost plastic cards.

            @RichardJones1 - My corner shop co-op takes pay by wave - not exactly packed with bright young things and paying for tube travel on contactless cards is surely no more difficult than inserting a ticket!

            Clearly we survive without contactless payments so it doesn't solve any insurmountable problems, it's all about convenience, or inconvenience when the battery gives up, which I accept is an issue for now.

            Not sure why I'm having to spell out the benefits of technology to readers of the Reg.

            1. Mike Flugennock
              FAIL

              Re: Re the Need For Standards

              "...Not sure why I'm having to spell out the benefits of technology to readers of the Reg."

              Perhaps it's because, being El Reg readers, most of us can tell when a particular bit of technology has no benefits.

            2. micheal

              Re: Re the Need For Standards

              "I could disable them all in less time than it took me to find out the phone number for one of my lost plastic cards"

              if you had your phone stolen and only use pay by NFC, where will you get a phone to use? most payphones now only take cards or pre-pay cards?

              just wondering?

            3. Tom 38 Silver badge

              Re: Re the Need For Standards

              Wallets have been routinely targeted by thieves for a while now. Isn't it easier to keep track of one thing than two??

              I don't take my wallet out of my pocket on the bus and play with it, I learnt my lesson when I was 7.

        4. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Re the Need For Standards

          Nothing to do with being Luddites - using a credit card or anything like NFC for low value payments makes them high value payments.

          Its just technology looking for a solution that for 99% of the solutions wont be any better and almost certainly worse.

          1. Ian Joyner

            Re: Re the Need For Standards

            Not at all. What people fail to appreciate about Apple is that they see a problem - like how hard it is to use computers, then work out how this could be useful for people.

            Thus they work out how something will be used and then design a system around it. Hobbyists who love soldering bits together don't like that - they like the inconvenience and to them that is part of the fun. But if computers are to be really useful, that inconvenience must be removed. This is exactly what has been done with ApplePay that makes it so impressive. They have also enumerated and evaluated all the problems with current payment systems and mostly solved them.

            Security always means some inconvenience and Apple has made it as convenient as possible for legitimate users and as hard as possible for crooks.

            OK, if you don't want to use ApplePay - don't. But don't try to stop others who see the benefits, speed, and security of it.

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: Re the Need For Standards

              Security always means some inconvenience and Apple has made it as convenient as possible for legitimate users and as hard as possible for crooks.

              I think you have those two completely reversed. NFC payment by phonebonk is a technologist's solution for a non-existent problem.

        5. Mike Flugennock
          Devil

          Re: Re the Need For Standards

          "...A giant shift like this has to start somewhere..."

          Shill much?

    2. DougS Silver badge

      "Apple's standard" is the BANK'S STANDARD

      It is EMV, what the banks are pushing and what everyone is going to use because the banks are the ones who decide, not Apple or Google. All the other standards will die, this is the one that will remain. Not because of Apple's support for it, but because it originated from the banks.

    3. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      QotD - Standards

      "The nice thing about standards is that there are so many from which to choose."

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Availability?

    Is this 2mil out of 20Mil for the USA or for the world in general?

    if it is for the world the nyou have to ask, is ApplePay available everywhere the iPhone6/6Plus is sold?

    If the figures are for the USA then to get 10% adoption so soon might be regards as a success story rather than a failure. If is it is less than say 20% in a years time then I'd be inclined to consider it a failure.

    Only time will tell.

  4. Chris Evans

    Only 500 users accodring to my maths!

    "Those 10,000 transactions might sound like a lot, but that's the total over two weeks when TfL does many millions of transactions a day and could represent as few as a thousand individuals"

    Ten workings days in a fortnight and I assume they probably use it on the way to work AND on the way back again gives 500 users each using NFC 20 times!

    Some users may not have worked 10 days in that fortnight but other may have worked more or done more than two journeys in a day.

  5. Anthony 13
    Thumb Down

    And how many "pay wave" style plastic cards ...

    ... are there that have been distributed and never 'waved'? Half the time I try to use one of those, the vendor has a machine but it isn't enabled! If a plastic card rarely works, who is going to bother trying with their phones?

    So I can understand why you are are picking on NFC, but I'm not quite so sure why you using Apple as an example - I would have thought a 10% adoption rate for something relatively newfangled would actually be considered a reasonable success. And that % must be higher if you take into account regions where Apple Pay is not an option...

  6. gnasher729 Silver badge

    You mean five percent of all iPhone 6 users are already using it for ApplePay? Which is just one of hundreds of functions of the phone? That's a few million already, so I'd call that a success. Unless you have information that Android solutions have a higher uptake.

  7. Paul 87

    I don't understand thw rush to put this technology in a phone. Do people really want to hold their £100+ device, and risk it being knocked or snatched from their hand as they do so, or dropped and being damaged.

    At least with a card it's not the end of the world if it gets stolen, a phone represents infinitely more hassle to replace.

    That said, don't trust NFC personally, the lack of contact means you cannot control which card is used and the range can easily be boosted to a couple of metres or more.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      @Paul, I myself cannot understand how anyone can use a smart phone to make phone calls, taking the risk that it gets knocked or snatched from their hand, or dropped and damaged.

      And the article is about the iPhone 6, where you can clearly and quite easily choose which card will be used.

    2. Mike Bell

      @Paul:

      You can hardly call it a rush. It's initially targeted at the American market where their card payment systems have been many years behind the rest of the world. Over there, signing for purchases, having your card details lifted, and merchants being left out of pocket due to extensive fraud is commonplace. Chip & PIN? You're having a laugh.

      Apple Pay is a massive security increase for all concerned parties.

      If a card (or all your cards) gets stolen, your life can be very painful indeed. You have the hassle of informing the bank and getting new cards. A thief won't be able to use a stolen iPhone to make purchases. And cards don't have to be cancelled or re-issued. I wouldn't call that infinitely more hassle to replace. I replaced my iPhone a few weeks ago. My new one was in exactly the same state as the old one was within a day.

      Apple Pay lets you choose which card you want to pay with. There's no danger of the wrong card being used, or a random transaction being instigated as is the case with a physical card.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't beat good old cash. Is your builder or mechanic going to take a bit off for NFC payment ?

    1. Paw Bokenfohr

      That's not even tax avoidance, that's tax evasion.

      And illegal. For him, and for you too, if you know he's going to do it. Which you do, because why else would he give you a discount for cash? It's not cheaper for him to process at the bank than cheque or even debit card, so it's not that - it can only be because he plans not to declare the income.

      Poor show.

      1. Rande Knight
        Devil

        Re: That's not even tax avoidance, that's tax evasion.

        It's cheaper for him than credit or cheque because there's no chance of people cancelling the cheque or reversing the credit card charge - which customers do to tradespeople amazingly often because of buyers remorse, or they know that they can then either squeeze out some more service for free or simply pay at the vary last second after you've spent hours preparing documents to sue them, in the hopes that you simply won't bother because it's not worth the amount of time.

        So yes, giving a discount for cash makes sense, and not (just) for tax evasion. Even people who would otherwise rip you off will often pay you cash because 'it's a bargain'.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's not even tax avoidance, that's tax evasion.

        @PB - Yeah whatever, I think the milk monitor's job is up for grabs, if you hurry you just might get it.

      3. CaptainHook

        Re: That's not even tax avoidance, that's tax evasion.

        And illegal. For him, and for you too, if you know he's going to do it. Which you do, because why else would he give you a discount for cash?

        *****

        With Cash In Hand, he can go straight to the building yard, buy the materials he needs for this or the next job and if he's using cash directly in like that then there is no waiting for transactions to clear, no bank fees for paying the money into the bank account etc. Sure Tax Avoidance is a possible reason for a reduction but by no means the only one.

  9. wyatt

    I tried to use NFC tags to help the wife advertise her business, encoding them with a link to her website to make it easier for potential customers to reach. Few have bothered, most have no idea what they're looking at and the majority find it easier to stick the site into a search engine and be taken straight there.

    Will it last? I doubt it. Will BLE last? Maybe but probably not. Will everyones 'pay by bonk' cards from the bank last? Undoubtedly! It's another method which isn't widely adopted with multiple methods of use all of which aren't straight forward for the end user to use.

  10. jviddy

    Not a bad start

    5% of people using it in the first couple of months when it is only available at a relatively small number of stores and only in one country is really not a bad start, and i'd imagine it is significantly higher that adopation of google pay or similar technologies.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm rather careful how and what I bonk.

    Thank you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm rather careful how and what I bonk.

      I fear you may be confusing bonk-to-pay and pay-to-bonk.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm rather careful how and what I bonk.

        "...bonk-to-pay and pay-to-bonk."

        These, obviously, could be combined.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: I'm rather careful how and what I bonk.

          These, obviously, could be combined.

          Would that count as performance-related pay?

  12. TWB

    NFC payment is new stuff and involves money

    I was very careful years ago with my first internet purchases because it was new and I was wary - I suspect NFC payments will take time to be popular in the same way - I don't count this as a failure yet. I don't think my smartphone supports it but I do occasionally pay by tapping with my credit card.

  13. Paw Bokenfohr

    Wow! Amazing adoption rate!

    Another way to view the stats:

    After years of languishing as an unadopted and unloved technology, within just 2 months Apple have transformed the outlook for NFC Payments by getting over 2 million users for their new Apple Pay system, and that when only launched in just the one country (the USA) which has the additional drawback of having limited infrastructure to accept it because of its backwards payments infrastructure not having adopted Chip-And-Pin and subsequently NFC when the rest of the developed world did, starting almost 10 years ago.

  14. PCS

    I'd love to use bonk-to-pay but Microsoft insist I use a secure SIM card inside my Lumia 920. Outside of America who on earth has one of those?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UMA was great!

    The shame about UMA and Push to Talk was that they were both actually useful technologies either before their time (PTT) or death by Not-invented-here. I had a phone with UMA and, living in an area with rubbish wireless to pull up outside the house and have the phone handover before I was out the car and guarantee me to get calls wherever I was inside was wonderful. Had apple supported it I suspect we would all be using it now, instead of multiple imcompatible femtocell offerings.

    Remote SIM I was less keen on, but being able to use a full power transmitter and decent antennas whilst in your car would have been a boon ever since they stopped putting antenna ports on mobiles or car kits. Another tech basically killed by apple.

    Hopefully in a parallel universe somewhere people have sensible mobile technology...

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Re: UMA was great!

      PTT was really badly explained (at least it was by Nokia). I remember getting my first phone that had PTT as a feature, but the description in the manual and on the marketing material just made it sound like a special button for one speed-dial number. So in the end, I just continued using the speed-dials I already had set up.

      UMA is making a comeback now the support is in more handsets, I think EE are supposed to be deploying it soon, I expect the other networks will follow suit shortly - except for O2 who have invested in TuGo instead..

  16. David Lawton

    So i remember when Apple Pay launched it had done more transactions in the first week than Google Wallet had ever done. Apple Pay is a success, this article is junk. Also can you Apple Pay in the UK yet ? Nope. Im itching to use Apple Pay on my iPhone 6, but i have just got to wait until it comes to the UK.

    1. Richard Jones 1
      WTF?

      #David Lawton

      Why? Or is that having shelled out a lot of money you now find the need to use it for something, anything?

      As you might see above I am mystified why anyone would be electrified by such an option.

      Mind you I cannot see the point of an iPhone 6 or any iPhone or any other such phone for that matter. My 2006 or was 2008 phone supports what I need and still the battery lasts longer than a modern awkward to use phone. The batteries in my cards have never yet gone flat, perhaps because they do not use a battery.

      My daughter gave me a pick stick to make a touch phone easier to use but I still find them a pain in the backside to use. Rather one touch on the headphone, speak the name and I am making a call, simple.

  17. kmac499

    Practice safe bonking; always wear a write protect tab..

    I completley understand the concern of accidental drive by bonking, or the worng card in your wallet being used.

    Surely the simple thing to do is put a couple of contacts on either side of the card. When you hold it between your fingers, that completes a circuit and activates the bonk circuits?? or at the very least only allow low value transactions as defined by the owner unless the card is gripped in the fingers..

  18. Extra spicey vindaloo

    In the US there are very nice incentives to use your credit card; points back, air-miles etc. If you use apple bonk(ers) pay you don't get those benefits.

    1. Mike Bell

      @Extra spicey nonsense

      Rubbish. Have a read.

  19. ColonelClaw

    Something I've been meaning to ask - is it possible to use ApplePay in the UK yet? Or is it just in the USA for now?

    1. Mike Bell

      No, not yet. It will be available sometime in 2015.

    2. Peter 39

      It apparently works in the UK if you have a US credit card.

  20. 404 Silver badge

    All good & fine until...

    Sunday night, after the sidewalks have rolled up for the evening in small towns, the Dollar General is still open but not accepting *any* type of transactions other than cash because their systems are down...

    ...AND THERE'S NO TOILET PAPER AT THE HOUSE....YOUR KIDS HAVE TAKEN ALL THE LOOSE COIN FROM YOUR CAR CONSOLE.... WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?

    o.0

  21. john 103

    Payphones

    I think this would be a fantastic technology for payphones.

    Instead of fumbling around in your pocket for loose change you could simply use your smartphone to pay by NFC. I'm surprised no one has thought of this yet...

  22. David Beeston

    Er... Surely it's because there is nothing to *bonk* in most territories

    I bonk whenever I can. Being in the UK that largely means Oyster and NFC enabled bank card transactions. I don't have any other bonkable available tech - and am not aware of any that are widely avaialble. I have an iPhone 6 too, and have never bonked with it.

    Does that mean that Apple have made a mistake? No.

    It just means that because ApplePay isn't available yet in the UK I cannot use the most bonkable tech with my iPhone 6. I have no choice but to continue using my card.

    Either this analysis is exclusive to the US, and therefore limiting to one of the least advanced card bonking markets, or is global and therefore ignoring that the rest of the globe doesn't have ApplePay. Either way it's therefore largely irrelevant.

  23. OllyL

    And I thought it was pretty good...

    back in the UK for a few months and picked up an iPhone 6 to use whilst here...it noticed when I was setting it up that my Wells Fargo cards were supported and promptly added them to the iPay thing. Worked flawlessly at Boots, Sainsburys and Greggs (all in Reading). The interface was neat, and it let me choose between my debit and credit cards. I must admit the various till staff thought I was a bit odd until it flashed up on their screens that I had pid. I think my only complaint at this point is the £20 maximum.

  24. CmdrX3

    It's fine in principle

    If I could use it with the same frequency I can use the contactless payment on my bank card I would but unfortunately that was not to be. we should have knew if Apple put in an NFC chip they would fuck us over in some way regarding it's use the same way they did for Bluetooth.

  25. Cynicalmark
    Headmaster

    Another worthless bit of useless meaningless info

    seeing that in the UK we are all chip & pin and bonk pay why didn't Apple test it here? The USA has the most ancient payment systems and crap security next to Nigeria - It is akin to testing condoms in Vatican city. All it proves is Apple need to look before they leap.

  26. Ian Joyner

    What a ridiculous article. ApplePay is only available in the US so overseas users can't use it yet. It has only been out less than two months, so people are cautious in adopting it. Just like any technology.

    In fact, the system is very safe - your credentials (fingerprint and pin) are checked on your own device - no need to trust someone else's device with that. The pin you put in on any other device could be stolen.

    Similar discussion came up on the Register yesterday. For those reading here who did not see that article, this is what I wrote:

    Apple's security is very strong:

    http://www.networkworld.com/article/2174973/smartphones/apple-reveals-unprecedented-details-in-ios-security.html

    and the referenced guide:

    https://www.apple.com/br/privacy/docs/iOS_Security_Guide_Oct_2014.pdf

    I had my third year and masters students analyze different aspects of this and they came up with loads of web references on the subject.

    There will be a lot of negative comments made about ApplePay, mainly by those who stand to lose their power over the consumer. ApplePay actually protects the consumer:

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/10/how-corporate-greed-is-trying-to-kill-apple-pay/

  27. Simon Rockman

    the thing tyhe banking world doesn't get is..

    Consumers like cash. having a wad of notes makes you feel good. Abstracting it to something else just isn't the same. that's why casinos use chips, so it doesn't feel like real money.

    Just think about how special a £50 note feels. It's more special than three £20 notes.

    Simon

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Re: the thing tyhe banking world doesn't get is..

      >Just think about how special a £50 note feels. It's more special than three £20 notes.

      Not to me, I'll give you a £50 note for three £20 notes any time you want.

  28. Peter 39

    slow rollout

    I've used Apple Pay at a few places but most don't have NFC yet. That will change by next October because terminals have to be upgraded/replaced to support chip cards, and most will include NFC.

    In some ways, a not-so-fast rollout is an advantage as it allows firms to get bugs fixed while they don't have a large impact. For example, one large hardware chain has AP working for Visa, but for MasterCard the transaction shows on the phone as "done" (i.e. "Done" with a green check-mark) and then "Declined". The account is good however and using the actual plastic works just fine.

    And said chain does have chip-readers in the terminals. Just not active. Having been hacked one might think that they would have flipped that switch. But - no. Go figure.

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