Apple Pay first week marred by confusion, glitches and bugs


Apple Pay is fast, easy and simple to use, but its first week isn't as flawless. The problem seems to lie not in Apple's technology itself, but in Apple's partners' unpreparedness and the general lack of knowledge about the new mobile payment system.

On Wednesday, CNN Money's Samuel Burke reported that he was being charged twice for all transactions he made with Apple Pay. A number of Twitter and Reddit users also reported the same glitch.

"I just used Apple Pay for the first time today and I found out that I was charged twice for the same purchases," says one Reddit user named KelbyMay. "Is anybody else having the same problem?"

Burke used his new iPhone 6 linked to his Bank of America card to pay for purchases at Whole Foods and Duane Reade on Monday, the day of Apple Pay's release. On Tuesday, however, he found out that Apple Pay was making duplicate charges for his purchases.

Burke decided to contact Bank of America's customer service hotline, which transferred him over to Apple Pay's support, which transferred him back to the bank saying there was "nothing they could do about it" because Apple does not keep a record of transactions made with Apple Pay. After getting both companies on a three-way call, Burke finally received a promise of a refund from Bank of America.

Bloomberg cites an unnamed source who claims that the double transactions were due to a processing mistake between Bank of America and at least one payments network. Bank of America, for its part, has issued an apology to Burke and the 1,000 others it says were affected by the problem.

"We apologize for the inconvenience and are correcting this issue immediately and all duplicates will be refunded," says Bank of America spokesperson Tara Burke.

Apple says it is aware of the issue "impacting a very small number of Apple Pay users" and that the company's new mobile payments system is off to an "amazing start."

Meanwhile, some retail store employees appear to be having trouble using Apple Pay, notwithstanding the simplicity of it all. Susie Ochs of MacWorld describes her experience with a number of clerks and cashiers who seemed to have not been trained in using the mobile payment system at all. She cites her Apple Pay experience at Walgreens, Rite Aid and Chevron, where all three clerks she interacted with had no idea what Apple Pay was.

The man at Walgreens, she says, only kept apologizing for not knowing what it was, while the cashier in his 20s at Rite Aid had nothing but admiration. At Chevron, Ochs says the clerk just gave her a blank stare when she asked to pay with Apple Pay.

"The payment terminals aren't new. The cashiers don't really get involved when you use them to swipe cards, except occasionally to remind you to push the green OK button or something. So no training was necessarily required for them - literally the only change is customers paying with a phone instead of a card," she says. "So I understand why they didn't know what was happening. But it's still been funny."

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