Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Technology
Reload this Page >

Italy + Apple Pay = bliss

Italy + Apple Pay = bliss

Old Jul 19, 19, 12:12 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 403
Italy + Apple Pay = bliss

I'm in the midst of an Italy trip, and I've never used Apple Pay so broadly. I love it. So many establishments support contactless, which means they support Apple Pay. I am 20 for 20 in my usage attempts, from store shops to restaurants. How fun this is!
PackingIt is offline  
Old Jul 23, 19, 9:41 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Francisco, California
Programs: Amex Centurion, United Global Services
Posts: 623
Just came back from two weeks in Australia and I didn't use cash or a regular credit card even once. Apple Pay, all the way, it was amazing! From the hotels to the guy selling cashews on the street. it really was awesome, it's the way I wish the States would be! Even China is ahead of us on this.

A woman was visiting here from China and said she was really disappointed. She thought since we invent all this stuff (Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc) that surely we can use that stuff everywhere in the US. She was shocked at how few places took electronic payments and how few people use it. She had to use her traditional credit card and said it had been years since she ever used it, didn't even know if it would work.
DMSFCA is offline  
Old Jul 23, 19, 11:27 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
Programs: GE, Marriott Gold
Posts: 13,335
Originally Posted by DMSFCA View Post
Just came back from two weeks in Australia and I didn't use cash or a regular credit card even once. Apple Pay, all the way, it was amazing! From the hotels to the guy selling cashews on the street. it really was awesome, it's the way I wish the States would be! Even China is ahead of us on this.

A woman was visiting here from China and said she was really disappointed. She thought since we invent all this stuff (Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc) that surely we can use that stuff everywhere in the US. She was shocked at how few places took electronic payments and how few people use it. She had to use her traditional credit card and said it had been years since she ever used it, didn't even know if it would work.
If things had gone a bit differently, I fully suspect that the US would be a cash society like Germany or Japan. As it is, card use is as common as it is because we've had decades to get into the habit.

Anyway, the main issue is lack of standardization combined with a dislike (or at least ambivalence) towards the card networks. In other countries, chip was mandated a lot sooner and terminals are basically swapped out fairly frequently due to being owned/administered by the banks. Here, businesses own the terminals, and they typically don't bother upgrading unless they absolutely have to--and even then, they usually go with the minimum that they can get away with (which currently doesn't include contactless/mobile payment, at least in a form that customers can easily use).

Fortunately, it's slowly getting better, but it might be another 5-10 years before it's as commonly usable as it is in, say, Europe. Unfortunately I can think of some categories of merchants that might never commonly adopt it (such as restaurants), simply because customers using the terminal is still frowned upon at those.

BTW I can imagine the comments on various forums 5-10 years from now in response to an American using a contactless card for the first time. Think stuff along the lines of "oh, we've had that for a couple of decades now" and "you're still inserting cards?" Maybe we're always going to be doomed to be a minimum of a decade or two behind in anything banking related.
tmiw is online now  
Old Jul 24, 19, 1:05 am
  #4  
Ambassador: Emirates Airlines
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 13,874
Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
Unfortunately I can think of some categories of merchants that might never commonly adopt it (such as restaurants), simply because customers using the terminal is still frowned upon at those.
This always gets me... In Europe, we'd never let the card out of our sight (it could get skimmed), but it seems normal in US restaurants for the wait staff to disappear with your card and then bring the final check.
DYKWIA is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 7:27 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,904
Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
This always gets me... In Europe, we'd never let the card out of our sight (it could get skimmed), but it seems normal in US restaurants for the wait staff to disappear with your card and then bring the final check.
That's funny because a few years ago my cousin from UK came to visit. She insisted on paying for one of the meal, so we let her. When it was time to pay, we told her that in the US, they take your credit to to the back to charge, so she gave it to the waiter. But a minute later, he came back and ask "Does it have a pin? Can you tell me what it is?" She just looked at him funny, "You want me to tell you my pin? Really?" It was kind of funny. She ended up going to the back with him and punch in her pin.
Need is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 7:33 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
Programs: GE, Marriott Gold
Posts: 13,335
Originally Posted by Need View Post
That's funny because a few years ago my cousin from UK came to visit. She insisted on paying for one of the meal, so we let her. When it was time to pay, we told her that in the US, they take your credit to to the back to charge, so she gave it to the waiter. But a minute later, he came back and ask "Does it have a pin? Can you tell me what it is?" She just looked at him funny, "You want me to tell you my pin? Really?" It was kind of funny. She ended up going to the back with him and punch in her pin.
The restaurants that have adopted the chip later tend to disable PIN support on their terminals altogether to avoid them having to think about stuff like portable terminals. The rest with chip support seem to push Enter to bypass the PIN first and only have customers enter one if the card declines (if you're lucky; I've had a few demand alternate payment). At least in my experience with the Diners Club MC, anyway, which is PIN preferring and requires it if the terminal asks for one.
tmiw is online now  
Old Jul 25, 19, 1:27 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 403
A few more comments. Even if the merchant says it won't work, push them to let you try. It almost certainly will. Some card machines have an actual contactless logo on them, but some don't. Those often will have the logo show on the screen. Always ask - don't think that because you don't see a printed logo that it does t support contactless. On my trip so far I only had one place that had an old card machine that didn't support contactless.
aroundtheworld76 likes this.
PackingIt is offline  
Old Jul 25, 19, 2:33 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Francisco/Sydney
Programs: UA 1K/MM, TK Elite, DL Gold, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum, IHG Gold, Hertz PC, Avis First
Posts: 6,932
Originally Posted by DMSFCA View Post
Just came back from two weeks in Australia and I didn't use cash or a regular credit card even once.
That's a good thing, because US credit cards confuse them! If you hand your card to someone to dip/swipe, they will instead wave it over the reader. Then try again at a different angle. Then get frustrated that it's not working and try again. Eventually you'll realize what they are doing and tell them it doesn't have contactless and they'll look at you like you're trying to pay using rocks, and then eventually they'll stick it in the chip reader and it'll work, but prompt them for something called a "signature" which will then lead to a 30 second search for a pen in order to sign it with.

If you're unlucky they'll then try and compare the signature with the one on the back of the card, which will likely result in them claiming it doesn't match, or that the card itself isn't actually signed...
docbert is offline  
Old Jul 27, 19, 3:58 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 4,815
In our last trip to the UK (primarily London), we used Google Pay everywhere other than at hotels. It was very convenient and avoided the find-a-pen-for-signature problem with US credit cards.
richarddd is offline  
Old Jul 27, 19, 9:20 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: DCA
Programs: AA EXP; BoNVoY Plat
Posts: 1,660
Originally Posted by PackingIt View Post
A few more comments. Even if the merchant says it won't work, push them to let you try. It almost certainly will. Some card machines have an actual contactless logo on them, but some don't. Those often will have the logo show on the screen. Always ask - don't think that because you don't see a printed logo that it does t support contactless. On my trip so far I only had one place that had an old card machine that didn't support contactless.
I was around 19/20 in my recent Italy trip. In one place the connection didn't take and I had to hand over the card and sign the slip, but as you note it is so much better than the old days (last year) where you would give them a card and they would have to search their shop for the pen for Americans to sign.
ckendall is offline  
Old Jul 28, 19, 9:10 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Bay Area
Programs: DL SM, UA MP.
Posts: 10,549
Well I'm in Italy and most of the time it works.

But I've refilled the gas 3 or 4 times and never has it ever once worked. First of all the payment system at the pumps are old and do not have contactless at all.

I just filled up today where you fill up and pay inside but they said their contactless terminal wasn't working.


One thing I notice sometimes is that they hold up those portable terminals up to your phone and while I try to select the card I want to use before authenticating FingerID, they pull away the terminal, thinking I've already authenticated it when I was swiping to select the card I wanted to use.
wco81 is offline  
Old Jul 28, 19, 10:22 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 403
My experience with gas stations is similar, in that most do not support contactless. I hope that changes, but I don't expect it to. Probably not worth the cost to them.

In terms of Apple Pay, I didn't have that experience, but my suggestion is to just get the card ready in advance.

EDIT: Found this online for you to try. I don't have a Touch ID phone so can't confirm, but it sounds right
  • Double-click the Home button (or open Wallet if you do not have that shortcut method enabled) > select your preferred card > place your finger on the Touch ID sensor until you see "Hold Near Reader to Pay"To enable the double-click shortcut, turn on the setting in Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay.
  • You then have 60 seconds to pay using that card by holding the top of your iPhone near the contactless reader.
  • During this time, you do not need to keep your finger on the Touch ID sensor or to place it there again.


Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Well I'm in Italy and most of the time it works.

But I've refilled the gas 3 or 4 times and never has it ever once worked. First of all the payment system at the pumps are old and do not have contactless at all.

I just filled up today where you fill up and pay inside but they said their contactless terminal wasn't working.


One thing I notice sometimes is that they hold up those portable terminals up to your phone and while I try to select the card I want to use before authenticating FingerID, they pull away the terminal, thinking I've already authenticated it when I was swiping to select the card I wanted to use.

Last edited by PackingIt; Jul 28, 19 at 10:28 am
PackingIt is offline  
Old Jul 28, 19, 10:27 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 160
The ability to pay at the table convenience is one of the reasons I started going back to Chili's when dining alone.
TGarza is offline  
Old Jul 28, 19, 11:24 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
Programs: GE, Marriott Gold
Posts: 13,335
Originally Posted by PackingIt View Post
My experience with gas stations is similar, in that most do not support contactless. I hope that changes, but I don't expect it to. Probably not worth the cost to them.
Visa and MC are requiring contactless to be supported by terminals in Europe. That said, it might require explanation to convince a cashier to let you try paying with a phone if it's somewhere that commonly has charges over the country's contactless limit (like gas stations) and Apple/Google Pay aren't supported by the banks in that country.
tmiw is online now  
Old Jul 28, 19, 11:31 am
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 403
If the gas station is attended it is possible it will take contactless. Contactless is common in Italy - there is rarely a need for an explanation if it is available. But almost all of the unattended stations I used had pretty old payment machines. I'd be surprised to see those updated any time soon.

Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
Visa and MC are requiring contactless to be supported by terminals in Europe. That said, it might require explanation to convince a cashier to let you try paying with a phone if it's somewhere that commonly has charges over the country's contactless limit (like gas stations) and Apple/Google Pay aren't supported by the banks in that country.
PackingIt is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread