Apple Pay is surprisingly useful

After being sceptical over the advantages of Apple’s contactless payments service, I’m now using it all the time

Apple Pay is surprisingly useful

Disaster struck two weeks before Christmas. My Natwest debit card was working only intermittently. Although not an absolute catastrophe, having to re-insert my card multiple times was a tad embarrassing – especially as shopping queues mounted for the Christmas rush.

One solution would have been to order a new card from the bank, but being without a card over this period was really not an option. Instead, I opted to load my card onto my trusty iPhone SE (Apple’s latest budget phone which is capable of contactless payments).


Refreshingly quick

Apple Pay has come under fire for payments taking a long time at NFC terminals. However, this was not my experience at all. In fact, payments were often notably quicker than with a standard contactless debit card. The finger print recognition technology in the iPhone SE is also 1st generation – as opposed to 2nd generation in the iPhone 6s and 7, so I would expect even better results in a flashier phone.

I’ve had no problems using my phone for Oyster payments, or for payments in small independent shops. Apple Pay works in any location that would normally accept contactless payments – not just in shops that have the Apple Pay logo.


I use it all the time

To my surprise, I’m now using Apple Pay far more than my debit card. In fact, when I do have to use my card, I find it to be a bit of a hassle.

I’ve got to the point when I regularly leave the house without my wallet – usually with the knowledge that I won’t be going out on a big spending spree.


The downside

With Apple Pay you are limited to the UK contactless payment limit of £30. This prevents you from completely replacing your wallet with your phone. I feel that this should be a bit more flexible, as you are authenticating your payment with your fingerprint – rather than merely tapping with a normal contactless debit card.

You are also at the mercy of your phone’s battery life. Meaning that you’ll always want to have a back-up plan.

Rain can also make fingerprint authentication more difficult. I experienced this after waiting for a bus in miserable weather.