Feature Friday: Paying With Your Phone

The other day I went to Whole Foods on the way home from yoga. It was around 7pm and the store was packed. I bought a whole bunch of stuff and when I got to checkout, I realized I did not have my “wallet” on me. I used quotes around “wallet” because those who know me know that I don’t carry a wallet. I just carry a bunch of cards held together with one of my daughter’s hair bands.

Anyway, I kind of flipped out thinking that I had just wasted a half hour shopping for stuff that I could not pay for. But then I thought about my phone. I asked the cashier if Whole Foods took Apple Pay (I”m on an iPhone right now), and she said “yes.” So she rang me up, I held my phone over the card swipe device, and I was out of there in about one minute. She told me it is actually easier for her to check a person out on their phone than via a card swipe.

You can do the same with an Android Phone with Android Pay. So both major mobile operating systems are now a substitute for carrying around a bunch of cards held together with a hair band.

I don’t think I am going to stop carrying around my cards anytime soon because not every store accepts Apple Pay and Android Pay. The very next morning I asked the barista at Blue Bottle if I could check out on their Square device with Apple Pay and she said it wouldn’t work. I found that a bit strange. I would have expected that Square would support both Apple Pay and Android Pay. But I guess they do not.

Which leads me to a feature request for Foursquare. They should start collecting information on their venues’ payment systems. Collecting information on Apple Pay and Android Pay support would be a great start. Venmo, Square Cash and Bitcoin might also be relevant in the future, who knows? Those of us who have sworn off cash and want to swear off cards too just need to know these things.