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.

#hacking finance

Comments (Archived):

  1. Sebastien Latapie

    I love using Apple Pay and find myself frustrated when I can’t use it. I already have a similar minimalist wallet, and them fewer things I need to carry in my pocket the happier I would be.Has anyone use the Samsung Pay that claims to work at all locations?

  2. Michal Mocny

    First cord cutters, now card cutters?

  3. Ana Milicevic

    Contactelss payments are one of those technologies that when you use for the first time you immediately wonder why you haven’t been paying for things this way all along. Everything else feels immediately antiquated. I’ve noticed that I’m actively favoring places I know accept Android Pay.My Twitter friend Brian Roemmele (https://twitter.com/BrianRo… has built Payfinders – an index of locations that accept Apple Pay. Check it out here: http://www.payfinders.com/ Could be a good option for a Foursquare partnership.And Square does have a contactless reader — it’s that white brick that looks a bit like a shrunken AppleTV. It’s likely that many merchants haven’t gotten it yet (especially those with the swanky swivel screens like at Blue Bottle :)).

    1. William Mougayar

      You know in Canada and the UK, contactless paying by debit cards is very popular, unlike the US. We call it “Tap”. They call it “Contactless” in the UK.

      1. Ana Milicevic

        Yes. Contactless is such a terrible name vs, say, tap & go.

  4. William Mougayar

    “I would have expected that Square would support both Apple Pay and Android Pay.”If they did, they’d have to give-up part of their margin to Apple, something that the banks and payment processors are reluctantly doing.

    1. Ana Milicevic

      They do support it! As a merchant you just have to get a contactless do-hickey. It’s the same one for EMV.

      1. William Mougayar

        So, it’s a merchant choice?

        1. Ana Milicevic

          Yes, which is surprising: most should have upgraded POS for EMV by now. This is what the Square thing looks like: https://squareup.com/contac

  5. awaldstein

    It’s a big deal.Had the same experience at Whole Foods last week. Honestly have not used Apple Pay anywhere else prior or since.

  6. scottythebody

    We don’t have Apple Pay available here in Austria, but when I was in London a couple months ago, it was a joy to use. It’s also WAY more secure than credit cards/debit cards. Only bummer is my iPhone battery ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. JaredMermey

    This is not an original thought but I forget where I saw it…the biggest thing to happen for contactless payment is EMV chips in plastic cards. For most people, swiping a card was still way easier than paying with their phone. Though EMV adds security to the process, they also add a lot of friction. As EMV is rolled out by more Issuers, it will be interesting to see the effect on contactless payment adoption.

  8. William Mougayar

    That, and skipping the line with pre-pay are some good conveniences for the tech savvy and smartphone addicts.

    1. Varun

      I’d bet on phone/pre-pay to bring about new food service mechanisms. Waiting in lines needs to go. Take SBUX as example: I have a hunch that >50% waiting in the line would prefer a grab-n-go based service. Phone/Pre-pay gets you there. The sweet spot is some kind of vending machine that keeps food/beverages fresh/hot/cold for an acceptable period of time.Also been waiting for / wanting to build a grab-n-go food truck that serves freshly prepared foodTruck food.

      1. William Mougayar

        yup….until there’s a new line for the pre-pay/skip the line ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Varun

          Nice – point noted @LE re: waiting in line and thinking beyond NYC neurosis….pretty epic reddit thread on Panera switching cashiers to table servers to adapt to $15/hr min. wagehttps://www.reddit.com/r/pi…

          1. LE

            What’s interesting is that I hate to wait in line at Panera bread which often happens. For one thing even with the same size line it doesn’t move as fast because of the way people order things. Plus at the one I go to the cashier is the one that preps the order (toasts the bagel for example) as well as rings you up. Plus you get customers that don’t know the lay of the land. And even the clientele are different a different group of people and the environment tends not to be as inviting. Not quite McDonalds (I don’t go there) but more in that direction.

          2. Richard

            I may be a bit of a food 1%er, but I just never quite understood the Panera value proposition.I met the CEO in 2010 and pitched him on adding fresh pressed juices to the menu. He liked the concept and arranged for meeting with his VP. The VPs dismissed the idea within the first three minutes of the conversation, totally picked up a not invented here defensive attitude.

          3. LE

            Food is not my industry but I am curious if you had your product in other smaller places first and were able to show how this would be good for Panera? That said it’s a long shot even if it is a great idea. Adding a product to a menu at Panera or any major chain (or even minor change) I would imagine is an extreme challenge even in the best case scenario and with good connections.

          4. Richard

            Yep, I had products in WFM. I for one think it would’ve been a game changer.

          5. JLM

            .You live a very arduous and trying life. I feel your pain.Last night, I sent my un-aldente pasta back so I can identify with it.JKJLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. LE

            I never eat there only takeout. They are good with making good. An example is they gave me a tub of chive spread which didn’t have a long enough expiration date. I just told the cashier “give me a new one the one I got last week didn’t have a long enough expiration date” [1] and she gave me a free one without further question.[1] I have found that it’s more effective when complaining to make a direct demand rather than ask a question.

          7. JLM

            .It is always shrewd to present the remedy to any complaint.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          8. William Mougayar

            that is funny but true. if you want to see efficiency at work, time for you to switch to Pret a Manger. A+ counter service with a smile, no attitude and speed + good food. they are the new Panera. Closest to you will be NY or Wash DC.https://www.pret.com/en-us/

      2. JLM

        .Three things are converging:The rising minimum wage;Kiosk order entry; and,Automated checkout.Anything that can eliminate labor — particularly administrative labor — will be coming fast and hard.Hell, they may even start serving breakfast all day. Wait a minute.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      3. LE

        I have a hunch that >50% waiting in the line would prefer a grab-n-go based service.I am not so sure that is good for Starbucks. Part of the SB experience is not having “to quick” service. This might seem odd but you know when you go to a restaurant you often aren’t looking for quick service (unless there is a deadline). Getting people out the door quicker (in that method) could be detrimental to a core of people that doesn’t mind waiting. I don’t mind if there is a short line and I have to wait 2 minutes I only care if there is a long line. At the local starbucks I’ve timed it and the longest I’ve had to wait, portal to portal even with a long line is about 12 minutes. The average is maybe 5 minutes.At the Starbucks I patronize I never get the impression that others in line are particularly anxious about having to wait. I am sure in other places this is not the case though but that’s just what I have observed in any Suburban Starbucks (and I have been at a dozens) that I have used.

        1. Jaikant Kumaran

          The next generation may look at cash the same way we look at LP records. Nostalgically.

          1. ShanaC

            certain things cash is better. you cant run away from cash at some point

          2. Jaikant Kumaran

            Horse carriages and postal mail are still necessary in some parts of the world. So with cash, it may be needed to provide for the homeless and poor. Till the point the personal device becomes like your clothing, on you or God forbid in you. Goodbye cash. That seems sad rather than nostalgic it seems now.

        2. Matt Zagaja

          While I know it’s an option I rarely do online pre-orders for Chipotle or Starbucks. I prefer my food be as fresh as possible when I go, and if I’m getting something out then I already plan to be there for some time anyways. If I knew the line was going to be super long (say half an hour) then I’d use it. That being said I think it is crazy that movie theaters still have people at registers to buy tickets from, but if you want to use an app (which requires less labor expenses) you have to pay an extra fee. Fandango has found itself a pretty good racket.

      4. Richard

        Starbucks had mobile ordering, for basic menu.

      5. JaredMermey

        They can easily bring EZPass model to their app (if they aren’t already). Having people prepay lets them sit on a ton of money and earn some float, while spend is simply ledgering money to their operating account.No need to pay the networks 2% as fraud would be pretty low — especially with touchID safeguarding a transaction.

    2. JLM

      .Self-checkout is a huge benefit. I go to Sam’s and the self-checkout is getting a lot of business.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. William Mougayar

        the machines are happy.if they are having a bad day, at least they just stop working.

      2. ShanaC

        i hate it, if all I buy is produce and the machines are unhappy, i basically can’t get anything done.(and apparently I eat a lot of product/buy a lot of groceries where there isn’t much processing done)

    3. Twain Twain

      Interestingly, in London they just launched Curve card as a unified alternative to our current multiple cards (it’s similar to Coin in US).Co-founder and chief executive Shachar Bialick: “There has to be one holy grail solution.”Apple Pay has the potential to solve it, as a core portal that brings all solutions into one place. But people’s behaviour is to pay with a card, not to pay with a phone.”There is an infrastructural and behavioural gap to fill before Apple Pay can catch on.”

      1. Alexander Ainslie (@AAinslie)

        +1 and as I’ve discussed with @cape, @tfl can (as one of the largest deployments of #nfc) help lead the way in filling the infrastructural and behavioral gap by turning themselves into a platform. Think TfLio

        1. Twain Twain

          You do know TFL are about 10+ years behind Hong Kong? Check it out:* https://en.m.wikipedia.org/…And then I’m in SF, see Square PoS in my local Korean convenience store but US hasn’t had chip+pin+NFC convenience like London. So we can tap our debit card on TFL reader and pay for travel fare.@fredwilson — Maybe that Blue Bottle hasn’t bought and installed SQ new $50 Apple Pay reader yet:* http://9to5mac.com/2015/11/

    4. awaldstein

      What is prepay to skip lines?Not something that exists in my world.

      1. Richard


        1. awaldstein

          Honestly can’t remember the last time I was in one.Never use them in NY or LA unless it is freezing or raining and I need to do something connected right when I’m walking past.Curious though on how it works there.

          1. Richard

            find a location that has a clover machine. The clover machine coffee is similar to just about any pour over shop. The glover locations offer about a dozen coffees from around the world.Their payment app is flawless and is tethered to your credit card. They also have a prepay option where you select your Starbucks location which then gives you a estimate for time to pick up . You skip the line and just go to the pick up location and your coffee and food are ready.The only major shortcoming is that the clover specialty coffees are not available on the app.

          2. awaldstein

            I’ll look when next in LA

      2. Twain Twain

        In June 2012 a US team built SkipQ at a hackathon, won and started to build out their hack which they then released March 2014 but later shuttered:* https://twitter.com/Officia…Then in Aug 2014, a UK team took that idea and built another SkipQ at another hackathon and won.I know the UK team have been building out their hack since then. It’s not yet released.There are all sorts of issues related to partnerships with retailers, integration with existing back-end inventory CRMs and we haven’t gotten to the part about security tags — if it’s an item of clothing rather than something simple like a cup of coffee.

        1. awaldstein

          Thanks.For good or not I know the point of sale issues intimately.The issues are getting fixed faster than you think is my opinion and the onus is on the online retailers using retailers as stock and ship partners to figure it out.

      3. William Mougayar

        It’s available at Starbucks in Canada. Time for you move back to Vancouver! http://www.vancitybuzz.com/…Also, some Apps do that for other stores, e.g. Grabb, Hangry or Ritual.

        1. Matt Zagaja

          They’ve been advertising this here as well. But they’ve literally put a Starbucks next to the Starbucks over here so I rarely see huge lines.

    5. Twain Twain

      Ah well, skipping the line is part of the retail IoT solution I’ve already scoped. I’ve worked out all the hardware components BUT …My main focus is on my Human+Machine Intelligence system because that will change ALL data.

  9. BillMcNeely

    Card less works works great at Starbucks.We still have customers at PICKUP who want pay by cash and check.

  10. LIAD

    As I went to whole foods on the way back from yoga…– California dreaming

    1. Shoe On Head

      I visit wholefoods each morning in London.Londoners could never begin a conversation like that in a pub without getting a punch. It’s different here.Lol.

      1. Twain Twain

        So true. I remember when first Wholefoods opened on High St Kensington and it was so alien to people.Meanwhile, it was everywhere in NYC where I’d been.

        1. jason wright

          Out Of This World.

        2. ShanaC

          they are actually starting to price competitively to some supermarkets in ny

          1. Matt Zagaja

            In my experience dairy and other products in their “365” brand seem to be price competitive with other stores. My presumption is to get you in to spend money on the other stuff. Though I’ve also learned to be careful when dealing with substitutes. For example Greek Yogurt from Trader Joe’s costs $0.99 instead of $1.49 at Whole Foods but has 50% of the protein content and double sugar content.

          2. ShanaC

            Nope, their stock pricing is dropping, there are more organic and natural products than ever in more traditional and discount supermarkets, and they feel a strong need to bring at least some of their products pricing in line with new competitionhttp://www.businessinsider….

    2. fredwilson


      1. Jie Pan

        How I wish I pay with Twitter one day !!!! Don’t ask me how !!

    3. ShanaC


  11. dougaxlerod

    Foursquare has a notation for accepting NFC Payments.

    1. Vasudev Ram

      There is actually a pose (i.e. exercise / asana) in Yoga, that is known in English as the “downward dog” – shvanasana or ardha (half) shvanasana – something like that. IIRC it looks similar to the pose of the dogs in the image you pasted above. Shvana is the Sanskrit word for dog.I’ve read that the ancient Indians who invented Yoga, designed some of the asanas after observing various animals in movement and at rest, and figuring out empirically the benefits of those poses for the human body (and mind etc.).Asanas named after animals include lion (simha), peacock (mayura), locust (shalabha), and many others.One of the interesting things they noticed (or so I read) is that animals are much more at ease in their bodies than humans tend to be, and also that when they move, they move with total purpose and vigor, and when they relax, they relax totally. Just check out a cat relaxing, IRL, on the Net, or here :)http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-u…http://jugad2.blogspot.in/2

      1. JimHirshfield

        Thank you for dissecting my humor ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. harvestgrand

    I would also like to see Cash only and BYOB indicators.

  13. Emily Steed

    I need to do this. It could be a back saver if I can leave my whole handbag at home and go out with just a phone. Does anyone know if Apple Pay makes any of the other data on my phone less secure? I wonder whether any other data on a phone becomes vulnerable when a payor “taps”?

  14. andrew chase

    Square’s NFC reader just started shipping in the last couple of months – think it’s available in Apple stores now too. Also allows for reading chip cards too (though I find this slower than swiping).Love the idea of foursquare showing more detailed payment options – always loved the “accepts cards – including amex” but more detail would be helpful.

  15. Steve Weiner

    the signage for Apple Pay is really bad and I often have to recognize a compatible terminal or ask the cashier (sometimes they don’t even know). education is a huge hurdle, but the UX couldn’t be more delightful

  16. Philip Reinder

    This beats a hairband (speaking from experience)https://www.etsy.com/nl/lis…

  17. Laurence Vandeyar

    I like the idea of a registry of where Apple Pay or Android Pay is accepted. I rather a web service from Apple and Google that lists merchants, this way Foursquare or someone else has an up to date list.

    1. Brian Roemmele

      Laurence, Great idea. Pay Finders is already doing this via an app environment with 1000s of Apple Pay enthusiasts. For 2 years we have surfaced NFC locations that even merchants themselves did not know was capable. We mix this very valuable crowd sourced data with 100s of exclusive relationships with banks, processors, ISOs, salespeople and merchants creating the largest NFC map in the world. The work has already been done.

  18. Eric

    Personally I don’t get it. Taking out my phone isn’t any more convenient or quick than taking out a plastic card – and personally I find the experience a little confusing (There’s always enough time to wonder “Is this working” before it finally does).And then there’s the big issue in my mind. A plastic credit card doesn’t need a battery. It just works. If my phone dies I’d rather not be without a phone *and* money.And since it’s going to be a long time coming before everywhere and anywhere accepts pay-by-phone, I still have to carry credit cards anyway. Along with some cash for that matter, because there still exists places that don’t even take cards.The whole idea seems like a solution in search of a problem.

    1. Brian Roemmele

      Eric, I hear ya. Empirical data suggest that 98% of people in the checkout line already have the cell phone in hand or watch on the arm. Thus there is no reaching for the wallet and selecting a card. It also doe not take in account about 50% of the population 99% of which have a cell phone in hand that carry pocket books. The time and effort to reach for a wallet for this cohort is a magnitude higher.At Pay Finders, in some areas this cohort, women represent over 70% of users. In one area of the US it is 90%.I suggest utility of any payment schema is relative to observation and conformation of cohorts empirically.

    2. JamesHRH

      ?One less thing to carry around is the goal.

      1. Chimpwithcans

        exactly – one less thing to forget at home.

    3. Tommy Chen

      it may be convenient for some right now, but it’s definitely more secure as each transaction is tokenized.

      1. Eric

        This argument sort of falls flat with me too.There’s no incentive for me the end consumer to care if a given payment method is more secure than another. I’m protected from credit card fraud either way. If my card number gets stolen (as as happened to me a few times) it’s quickly detected and the fraudulent charges are cancelled. It’s a slight PITA because I have to update the number everywhere I have saved, but that’s not motivation enough to switch to something different.And my sense is that the big banks don’t *really* care about better security either. If they did they’d have rolled out Chip + PIN years and years ago when that first became available. As it is they’re only just now rolling out cards with chips in them and still don’t require PIN’s to authorize the transaction.

        1. Jonathon Fishman

          Eric, from my perspective that is a totally naive way of approaching your accountability and role in fraud protection. Yeah, the banks should have proper tools and best practices but in the end, your the one that will need to sort through fraud. If it is a simple transaction.. no big deal.. the banks will cover you. But if it turns into something larger it can be a huge drain. We all pay for fraud in some way..and we all have a resonsibility to mitigating the role we as individuals play in this game. Bad stuff happens.. but most of it is do to human behavior.

    4. LE

      Taking out my phone isn’t any more convenient or quick than taking out a plastic cardThe idea is many people waiting in line have their phone in their hands already (they are reading, texting or checking on something).

      1. Dale Allyn

        This whole topic is so fascinating to me. From @fredwilson going out without “wallet” and/or cash, to the use of card equivalents for a cup of coffee.I would never use a card for coffee. If I don’t have cash, I’m not enjoying a coffee. I don’t want to reconcile $4.18 on my accounts. I carry cash. Even in my car there’s a cash stash for coffee, but my wallet always has 2 to 5 $100 bills folded in thirds, stashed behind my driver’s license. My daily use money is in my front pocket.My daughter loves Apple Pay, but would use an ATM card for coffee before Apple Pay was available. I loved to chide her for it.One of my credit cards was “hacked” three times last year, requiring replacement each time. It’s a chipped card. Another is often declined for security reasons because of the bank’s strict security policies. What a pain.I love cash. Cash is king. And yet I love technology, but displacing analog options such as cash isn’t always a smart step forward IMO.Fun topic, but I’m very late to the conversation. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. LE

          I don’t want to reconcile $4.18 on my accounts.I gotta tell you you are right about that. I have a major problem in that area when I go to input expenses and my credit card statement has so many transactions on it of a minor nature. I tried to fix this by having a separate credit card for certain transactions but then the lure of a 2% rewards card (vs. 1%) made me put everything on the 2% card which I should probably reevaluate. I think it’s just also a desire to track things or keep some kind of score. It doesn’t make much sense to me why I do that though the end year figure never even matters (if not for business purposes).

    5. OurielOhayon

      once you have an apple watch, apple pay becomes a delight

  19. kidmercury

    So long as we are in the paradigm by which the nation state is the dominant for of governance, a cashless society is a threat like the no fly list, especially since the feds in the US have already openly expressed a desire to control a user’s phone. Kooks have been warning about the threat of a cashless society for a long time.

    1. JLM

      .I want to agree with you and intellectually you are absolutely right but I am also certain that anything digital on the face of the earth is in the hands of the NSA before I hit the “enter” button.We have no idea how pervasive their surveillance is over everything digital.If one can disconnect their identity from their cash and purchases, there is a bit of anonymity after all.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. kidmercury

        agreed. in kookology, there is a viewpoint that the government already has the means to do whatever shady thing they are asking permission for (i.e. break into your phone and take all the info); the ask is simply to get the people acclimated to facilitate increasing the scale of the operation.

        1. LE

          in kookologyI love the way you neuter blowback of your sometimes extreme views by coming out in front with the diss yourself. I don’t remember that you always did that.

          1. kidmercury

            lol well i don’t view it as a self-diss, though i understand others do. i think it’s something all parties (kooks and non-kooks) can find humorous, albeit for different reasons.

          2. LE

            No what I mean is you get the perceived negative out in front to neutralize what others are thinking. An effective strategy I must say. Use of humor also is along the same lines.

        2. JLM

          .One has to remember that both the CIA and the NSA wake up every morning asking, “Well, what country’s laws shall we shred today?”When they get caught their first line of defense is always the same — destroy the evidence. Then, classify the evidence. Then, deny, deny, deny.Then, you have an NSA head who is appointed for 10 years. He can outlast any administration and doesn’t even really have to tell them what he’s doing with his 500,000 SF of Cray computers in Utah.Then, you have most of the work being done by 28 year old nerds who want to know something about that girl they met in a bar last Saturday.Then, you have to realize when that is your normal MO, it is no leap of faith to break a few of the US laws.Hey, what could go wrong, eh?In the Apple fiasco, little reported fact: Apple has already broken into its own phones for the authorities seventy-one times. SEVENTY ONE TIMES.Apple is trying to re-grow its hymen. Stay tuned.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. LE

            Then, you have most of the work being done by 28 year old nerds who want to know something about that girl they met in a bar last Saturday.I had to explain to my wife why you never want to hire boy babysitters. Gross generalization but they tend to be more devious and curious then young female does. Remembering from when I had girlfriends that babysat and what I did at the house when I would stop by (which should have been a non-starter on the part of the person who hired her) to see her.

  20. Brian Roemmele

    Fred, wonderful post! Indeed I agree about finding Apple Pay locations also. It is why I created Pay Finders, the largest Apple Pay map in the world. I did this over 2 years and have execlusive data relationships with banks, processors, ISOs, sales people and merchants. I combine this data with 1000s of crowd sourced data points. The map has a magnitude more locations then Apple reports. We also have an execlusive relationship in China with 6.3 million Apple Pay locations today.So you wish is already here. In version 2.0 you will be notified the moment you enter an Apple Pay location. This is in testing today. I would be quite honored for you to give it a try: http://PayFinders.comI also would be quite honored to work with Foursquare. I have reached out to Dennis.

    1. JLM

      .This is very cool on a number of different planes. It is like an episode in a good series.Well played.How much would you have paid for that intro?Why didn’t our Fred know about this already?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Brian Roemmele

        Thank you! I really appreciate it! Pay Finders is just me today. I learned Xcode making it. With all he ugly noob code and rookie mistakes. I have worked in payments for 30 years and knew Apple and others had no single way to map all the NFC locations in the world. I have been fortunate enough to know how to really find them and have developed execlusive relationships for locations. Mapping this stuff is very hard for many reasons in fact I personally call merchants that don’t even know they accept Apple Pay many times per week. This alone is a fundamental reason why many mapping efforts will fail. I know each payment devices and each software build and each processing relationship that allows NFC and Apple Pay. This knowledge is not easy to come by.This all helps motivate me to have a deep focus on surfacing the largest number of NFC locations in the world.

        1. Vasudev Ram

          You’re doing what Paul Graham calls “Do things that don’t scale” – but at scale :)http://paulgraham.com/ds.htmlCool.

          1. Brian Roemmele

            Thank you! I really appreciate it! Would be honored if this hobby takes this route!

          2. JLM

            .Not telling you your business but you could probably raise all the $$$ you need in the next 24 hours. Fixing a Freddie is not a bad place to start.Could be wrong.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. Brian Roemmele

            Thank you! Great advice! Thank you! Thus far its just my pink piggy bank that has been VC on Pay Finders…

    2. kidmercury

      very impressive. well done!

      1. Brian Roemmele

        Thank you! I really appreciate it!

    3. Mac

      Brian, this is very interesting. Just visited your website. You’ve done a lot of work in two years. What are your plans regarding Android Pay and Samsung Pay? Also, by “processors” are you including payment gateway companies? There are many. Anyway, good job.

      1. Brian Roemmele

        Thank you! I really appreciate it! I have been learning to program Android apps and indeed I may have some great news at Google i/o this year!

      2. Brian Roemmele

        Second question: Great point! Indeed I include gateway companies. They submit 1000s of Apple Pay locations each week as well as notify me of ones that have sadly closed their doors. See a map is only as good as the number of Zombie merchants you can remove. I use live data feeds, the wisdom of the crowd and a great deal of AI to removed locations that have gone on to merchant heaven.

    4. Simone

      beautiful website you have. you may be able to know the answer to a question I had: only few months ago, apparently over night, London was covered by terminals accepting Apple Pay (same old terminals adapted to accept AP). How did they do it? Even for Apple that was impressive.

  21. LE

    I use Apple pay sometimes at Panera Bread but haven’t really found that many other places that accept it in my area. Maybe the CVS or Rite Aid but I don’t go there that often to make using the phone a habit (which is important) to pay for what I buy at those places. [1] Just like any retail place. At starbucks I always pay by the iphone but typically for some reason I tend to bring up the Starbucks App not Apple pay.Part of the current problem with Apple pay that I have experienced is the terminals aren’t particularly sensitive or quick. It’s kind of annoying I find swiping a card a faster experience.I am particularly disappointed with the implementation of paying using Apple watch, I didn’t use that since the first few tries it’s to difficult to bring up the barcode it needs to be totally NFC for it to work, at least for me. (To much finger drag and friction in other words).One last thing. Often when I am in line I am looking at my iphone reading something. So typically I’d rather take out my credit card then lose the screen that I am on or divert my concentration.[1] And I find that with Amazon I go there less than I did in the past. Just like I almost never go to the OfficeDepot or Staples.

    1. Brian Roemmele

      The payment experience is crucial to Apple Pay. Pay Finders enthusiasts have rated 100s of 1000s of Apple Pay transactions. The rating is on the merchant and the payment equipment type. In the future the data on the exact payment terminal will be noted as an icon with more data, if needed on how to have the best transaction experience.

      1. LE

        Noting also that your user base would tend to be more capable and tech saavy than a typical broad spectrum of customers.You know what you should do? You need to issue press releases that would no doubt get picked up by major media which would be great publicity for your brand.

  22. JLM

    .When I go to Whole Foods in the ATX (where it was founded and where the Mothah Ship is located), I see about 20% of consumers using some form of phone based payment.It is starting and it will be huge.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  23. andyswan

    They must be trying to get us to use phones now that they’ve implemented the annoyingly slow chip-readers instead of swiping systems for cards.Get off my lawn!

    1. LE

      Yeah agree those are pre-historic in speed. They are so worried about edge cases of people stealing credit card data they have nearly neutered the convenience.

      1. falicon

        It takes even longer when you guess wrong about if they support it or not (swipe and they say sorry you have to use the chip…or try to use the chip and they say sorry we don’t support that yet). I get it wrong about 90% of the time…which, along with the speed like you mention, makes me *hate* the stupid chip…

        1. Sebastien Latapie

          Ah yes! It took me 5 minutes to get out of CVS last time. I swiped didn’t work, asked to swipe again, didn’t work, checked my card saw it was chip card asked me to put in the chip, didn’t work. Had to call a manager in, who had to call a bank, to confirm and authorize the payment. Absurd.

      2. BillMcNeely

        that Target data theft was no joke. I worked there when this happen and the number of people affected just in one store was amazing.

      3. ShanaC

        stealing data is not an inconvenience after it happens though

    2. Brandon G. Donnelly

      most places have the tap functionality now. or is this a canadian thing?

    3. pointsnfigures

      Hey, the enterprising kid would have Venmo installed on his phone so they could mow it and have you transfer money after they were done.

    4. Twain Twain

      UK has had chip+pin for years. US consumers may be experiencing teething problems but once the chip readers are installed … Everything’s more convenient.https://uploads.disquscdn.c…Tap = Pay+Go.

  24. LE

    I asked the cashier if Whole Foods took Apple Pay (Iโ€m on an iPhone right now), and she said โ€œyes.โ€The question is why did you have to even ask?Why wasn’t the POS clearly marked in a way that you knew they took Apple pay?And why didn’t you know this just by observation in the past? This is a marketing and promotional failure although it’s not clear who is at fault: Apple, WF, or the Pos maker or all three.

    1. Matt Zagaja

      One issue I’ve run into is that POS terminals are often marked and obviously have the hardware capability to accept Apple Pay but the merchant does not always enable it.

  25. Eric Friedman

    Still an unsolved problem but lots of folks working on a better payments system – including me.

    1. Vasudev Ram

      >better payments systemThey are badly needed – worldwide. The state of the art is way too poor (pun intended).

      1. Eric Friedman

        shoot me an email and ill share the beta when ready – my name AT gmail

        1. Vasudev Ram

          Thanks, done.

    2. ShanaC

      details? this sounds interesting

  26. LE

    I donโ€™t think I am going to stop carrying around my cards anytime soon because not every store accepts Apple Pay and Android Pay.Stores and clerks are weird about this stuff. In theory you could take a photo of your credit card (stored on your encrypted iphone) and have them simply key in the cc data as a manual transaction. Just like is done on the web. My guess is that in an owner operated smaller store you could pull this off (if you forgot your wallet, otherwise the time spent wouldn’t be worth it obviously). Maybe I will try this as a test somewhere and see what happens just for fun.And infact you might want to store the photos of at least one of your credit cards on your iphone anyway. Why? What if you are at a restaurant and you forget your wallet and it comes time to pay and the person with you doesn’t have payment either on them? Or what if you are somewhere else where having a credit card is necessary (your car got towed for example).

    1. Richard

      Starbucks app users are now 20% of its traffic. Pretty good. Pretty Pretty Good.

  27. Matt Zagaja

    I pay for my groceries from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods every weekend with Apple Pay. Painfully CVS has the terminals for it but does not enable Apple Pay. It’s even better using the watch than the phone. Coming soon: ATMs that accept Apple Pay.Also the new chip cards are terrible they take forever to authorize and fail way more often than the mag swipes.

  28. John McGrath

    Love the feature suggestion, I would use Foursquare (and Yelp) a lot more if they told me where phone pay worked. I *way* prefer paying by phone, but as other have said, it’s not a fully ingrained habit because of the uncertainty over availability.

  29. Shaun Dakin

    Best thing about Samsung Galaxy Note is Samsung pay which really does work pretty much anywhere. I love going to places and pulling it out, hearing the Staffer say they don’t take it, and boom. It works.

  30. Vasudev Ram

    >Which leads me to a feature request for Foursquare. They should start collecting information on their venuesโ€™ payment systems.Might want to consider suggesting to other portfolio companies (for which it makes sense) to add a feature like that too. The principle here is to solve for a more general case – from the Polya book that I mentioned here some days ago ๐Ÿ™‚ Though I do see that in this case, since each portfolio company is different, the exact same feature will not apply. But the point is the collection of that information on the payment systems.

  31. BennFranklin

    The DunkinDonuts app is very good and makes it easy to pay from phone, I use it daily. The wife/kids can carry a card linked to the same account, and I recharge it as necessary (simliar to Venmo). I’m more comfortable with this then the Android/Apple Pay alternatives.

  32. kirklove

    1) It’s even cooler and quicker paying with an Apple Watch2) The fragmentation of payments systems is why cash will always reign as king.

    1. LE

      I haven’t found that to be the case despite being a big proponent of this. It’s not prime time yet unfortunately.Have you been to Disneyworld (Orlando) with the kids yet? When you go if you stay onsite (which you should do) you will get to use the magic band. You will then see what potential Apple Watch has (as I have said before here on AVC). It’s great! No need to carry anything just the band on your hand (and the kids get them also) allows you to pay, get access and to buy things. Very simple and works well I found.Jobs was on Disney’s board and no doubt Apple Watch grew out of what he knew about the magic band (or perhaps the Magic band came from Jobs who knows).https://disneyworld.disney….

      1. kirklove

        I’ve had great success with the Apple Watch and payments.I’ve heard the Disney stuff is amazing. Be a few more years until I try it.

        1. pointsnfigures

          When you go to Disney be prepared. They have the economics of first, second, and third degree price discrimination with corresponding elasticities down to the penny.

  33. Susan Rubinsky

    I still always carry cash after I once got stranded in NYC after the ATM took my debit card (remember the old days when it used to do that?) when I was trying to get cash for a taxi. Good thing I had my return Metro North ticket. This must have been in the mid-1990’s but I have never forgotten how it feels to be stranded without cash. It would be a bummer if your phone died too.

  34. sigmaalgebra

    Well, Fred, you can get away with using one of your daughter’s hair thingys, but likely if your son did that other boys would say “You wear your sister’s panties, too?”With less than 1/2 second of reflection, the whole story seriously underlines what are now some super-serious, say, essential parts of the US economy — the electric power grid, semi-conductors, and the Internet.Since tomorrow there will be some voting in South Carolina, the good citizens there will be keeping in mind much of why their votes are important:

  35. Dave Kim

    If Foursquare built this feature, do you think it would primarily help you choose where to shop or would it help you figure out what to do once you’re already there?

    1. Brian Roemmele

      Dave,At Pay Finders we have 1000s of enthusiasts that access the app to make a choice where to shop. I can show this consummates in a number of ways on a randomized and anonymous level. In version 2.0 of Pay Finders, I will have a push notification that will alert you via iPhone or Apple Watch that Apple Pay is accepted as you enter the building. This is an important element to Apple Pay for many forget or don’t know Apple Pay is accepted when at a store.The largest issue is even management and staff at Apple Pay locations are not clear that Apple Pay is accepted. About 60% have no signage and 95% have no training.One of the reasons I cerated Pay Finders.

  36. creative group

    FRED:amazed! You carry cards but nothing to hold them. Technology allows us conveniences of making things easier to complete but old inventions still work. A wallet. We are tempted to send you one of our new leather wallets that doesn’t resemble your grandfathers. But would you use it and would it hold all your cards, etc? (The reason two are still sitting)A person with everything at his disposal but a functional wallet.We use PayPal and Square for our purchases.DISCLOSURE: No holdings in either PayPal or Square.

  37. creative group

    Note to self: Love WholeFoods (Non meat since 1980). Dislike the prices. WholeFoods stock is horrible. WholeFoods falling out of favor except in New York, Boston & California.DISCLOSURE: No holdings in WholeFoods. Why would any smart investor at this time?

    1. pointsnfigures

      Bacon is the gateway drug for vegans and vegetarians.

    2. ShanaC

      whole foods is priced competitively in those markets, where groceries are already priced crazy. Wholefoods prices are coming down(already it is among the cheapest places in nyc to buy good quality fish for cooking for dinner)

      1. creative group

        When smart people speak we listen. New York City prices are already not the normal price points to assess national or global pricing. But for NYC we accept your point.

        1. ShanaC

          i’m hearing otherwise. Apparently WF’s stock price has been battered enough that they feel they need to start bringing many staple grocery items in line with prices at many more standard grocery stores nationwidehttp://www.businessinsider….But there are definitely items where you keep seeing the prices just drop and drop instead of “sale”, such as their store brand of eggs (which tend to be really high quality)

      2. Supratim Dasgupta

        I agree with you. but have you seen Trader Joe prices lately? They have pretty good prices too!

        1. ShanaC

          they do, but they have crazy lines. As in, I know people who make trader joe’s friend dates with lists so that they can have one person on the line and one person gather the groceries, otherwise neither would get out in a reasonable period of time :/

          1. Supratim Dasgupta

            Haha! shopping buddies!some of the floors of the traders joes I shop looks like a hurricane has just passed.very different from the clean experience in WF and the staff is much friendlier! In NYC I think the WF prices are much good though am leaning towards Amazon prime now for staple milk,eggs, bread which tend to be much cheaper than any store in NY. organic eggs 12ct is only 2.99 on Amazon prime! And there is no delivery fee and hauling up!!! I really want to shop more from farmers market but since they close at 6 it’s hard for me.how has ur exp been with farmers market?

  38. Dave Pinsen

    Foursquare could partner with Square on this, call it ForSquare.

  39. Simone Brunozzi

    Which leads to an investment thesis: invest in companies that make smartphones more secure (hint: it’s a hard problem to solve, and you need AI for it).

  40. BillMcNeely

    Interesting that pay by phone is accepted pretty well in Africa already. Pay By Phone could take over in India and China since in each country cards have a lower than 5% use rate ( See recent a16z podcasts on teh subject)At the same time cash has a place since 73% of US currency is tied up in $100 bills. ( Poor man’s t-bill )

    1. Vasudev Ram

      >Pay By Phone could take over in India and ChinaLikely.MPesa (one of the pay by phone services used in Africa) is now in India too.Also, just recently saw in the paper that a National Payments Corporation of India is going to release some new service. They had a half page ad in it.

  41. Heather Redman

    I weirdly look forward to days when I’m having breakfast at Starbucks (ordering via their app as I walk to work and picking up the order when I walk by–skipping long line with glee–genius!) and then having lunch at Whole Foods. Bonus when I am flying somewhere that afternoon. I use my iphone for the first transaction (texting while walking–oops) and then my apple watch for the second two (even though it is easier to use the phone–I want to use the damn watch). I’d really prefer not to have to carry my ID for the airport, but we’re not there yet.

  42. Dave Hyndman

    Strange that Blue Bottle doesn’t do Apple Pay via Square. I thought they had a close partnership. You would think Blue Bottle would be a flagship for Square. https://squareup.com/contac

  43. hypermark

    There is a bit of inconsistency of experience from store to store (and even Whole Foods to Whole Foods), but the “magical” experience are the stores configured so you just hold the phone over the Debit/Credit Controller, use Touch ID and you are done. Period.Some make you got the extra step of choosing debit or credit, and signing, which is decidedly less magical (i.e., only incrementally better than a physical card).

    1. Brian Roemmele

      Indeed, this is related to the programing in the Merchant’s terminal. Some merchants need to upgrade the experience to be PIN-less and/or Signature-less. Also after the transaction amount is over a threshold Visa and MasterCard rules still require a signature. However I have predicted a change soon where location data + biometrics will become a much lower rate structure then Dip/Swipe cards with no captivation on the amounts used via Apple Pay and no need for PIN/Signature.

      1. hypermark

        That is good detail. Thanks.

  44. jason wright

    “…kind of flipped out…” – in a techno brattish sort of a way?

  45. Michael Makunas

    As a bunch of people have mentioned, Square does support ApplePay. Bought a coffee at Sightglass in SF this morning using my Apple Watch. Interestingly, (or maybe obviously for those who know more about how these work) Square didn’t recognize me and I had to enter my email address for the receipt. (Like one does when you use a brand new card). While I do like using the AppleWatch with ApplePay (since pulling the 6 plus out of my pocket is harder than my wallet), the wrist motion of tapping with your palm up feels a little awkward. So I think there is some work to be done on figuring out the optimal form factor.But I still miss Square detecting that I’m there and just being able to pay by name. When it worked properly, it was one of the rare cases where tech reduced friction but increased human contact.

  46. jason wright

    where there any paparazzi on the scene?

  47. Jack Sarvary

    I think the real breakthrough here will be when phones not only handle the payments but the entire check-out transaction (including scanning goods and calculating the amount). This way the details of the purchase are automatically shared with the user as well as the retailer.

  48. pointsnfigures

    I have it loaded onto my phone but haven’t tried it yet. However, the huge delay with these new chip cards might have me looking at it sooner rather than later. My friend started Braintree which bought Venmo, and was acquired by PayPal. I remember him telling me that Google Wallet and other virtual wallets were not going to make it because it wasn’t so hard to swipe your card. Now, the card swipe is getting harder.

  49. Rick Mason

    Fred, Surprised that you didn’t mention Kik in this piece. Read a piece yesterday on Kik’s founder that relayed what they were doing with restaurants near their headquarters in Waterloo.Apparently you scan a barcode on the menu and it opens a chat session where you enter what you want to eat from the menu. A runner brings the food and since you’ve entered your credit card info in Kik when you’re done you just walk out of the restaurant. Better service without needing to pay a tip.I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I read it. I always figured we’d pay for everything with our phones eventually but what I never even imagined was that it would be through a chat bot. I’d like to learn more, how about doing an article on what they’re doing with more details?

  50. daryn

    Swarm also needs to add a matching feature to my friends’ profiles so I know who has sworn off cash and cards, so I know when I’ll be picking up the bill… :)Just kidding, I love apple pay, but I do find myself returning to carrying around a small pocketful of cash these days.

  51. ShanaC

    All I can think of is”I kill my battery already, this is going to kill it 2x more”

  52. george

    There’s an interesting trend developing-natural food and specialty outlets have adopted Apple Pay very quickly (Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joes, Starbucks). I’m sure there is a strong correlation between iPhone users and these targeted customers.I’m so ready to ditch my wallet, The turn of the century old approach needs to go. Let’s please move forward with the times much faster…Hopefully keys are next!

  53. jason wright

    if i could do all my public space transacting with just a watch i would probably fold and wear one.

  54. John Revay

    “Anyway, I kind of flipped out thinking that I had just wasted a half hour shopping for stuff that I could not pay for.”I had a similar experience – I was at work in Mamaroneck …and for some reason left the house w/o my wallet (slim wallet w/ just cards…I don’t often carry any cash)….It was a long day and I was hungry – I was trying to think which places I could buy something w/ Apple pay – walked into a new healthy place and asked if they took apple pay b/f I ordered – they did so then I was able to eat ๐Ÿ™‚ They Had a square POS system.I now buy most of my gas at a cumberland store using their cumberland app to buy gas – $.10/gal off. It was a good deal when gas was $4.00/gal, now a much better deal that gas is $ 2.00/gal.

  55. John Revay

    ” Blue Bottle if I could check out on their Square device with Apple Pay”Hummm- I recall watching Jack on CNBC that day square went public – I thought he talked about buying his daily coffee @ Blue Bottle….w/ Apple pay..on the Square terminal.

  56. dangen11

    when I’m able to have my driver’s license in digital form on my phone and be able to withdraw cash from atm’s using my phone, then I’ll ditch my wallet and tuck a couple of bills in my phone’s protective case.

  57. OurielOhayon

    Apple pay + Apple Watch is one of the reasons i am going back to Whole Foods more (and trader joe’s). I just love this split second moment.

  58. creative group

    SME 2016 Annual Conference & Expo this weekend 21-24 Feb 16 I’m Phoenix, AZ in beautiful 84 degrees. (Data Mining)

  59. Tommy

    This post is actually a good reason to be bullish on Square, and in fact all great new POS readers. Square’s new reader (which is great) does accept Apple/Android/Samsung Pay, and as those increase in popularity the number of merchants who will need to switch readers to accept and deal elegantly with those (the offerings from existing players are very bad) will increase.Even more importantly, every POS reader is being replaced right now to support chip cards, and it is unlikely they’ll be replaced with readers that don’t also support Apple Pay etc. This is great news – this timing means that in the next few years you will be able to safely assume a modern merchant accepts will allow you to pay with you phone. Can’t wait! Now if they could just check ID through the same system…..

  60. sketharaman

    I don’t use iPhone or Apple Pay but I came across this 3rd party app that shows where Apple Pay is accepted. https://twitter.com/s_ketha

  61. omerzach

    We could definitely feature it more prominently but Foursquare does already collect and display whether venues take NFC payments :). Had it since right around when Apple Pay launched.

  62. Brian Roemmele

    Charlie, I hear ya. Thank you for your input! I have been struggling with designing the push notifications for quite a few months I got through the coding but the big issue is when is it too much or not enough. So I have developed a way to solution that I think will address your concerns. I hope to have this out in version 2.0 with full Apple Watch support also. Should be in the next few weeks.

  63. LE

    Where there is smoke there is fire.You know how judges often recuse themselves just to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest or bias? Even when there is no basis for that?Well this is a similar situation. Since people know that Obama isn’t happy with Scalia, he would need to go out of his way to make sure that nobody reads that as the reason into the situation. That is the way that I see it.And you know what does historical precedent have to do with this anyway? When you decide to attend a funeral for a friend [1] or a relative do you look at historical precedent? Or do you go so that you don’t get the fucking evil eye from others (because you weren’t there) or somehow feel guilty?I am not slamming Obama (that’s JLM’s job which is why I tossed it to him..).Oh one other thing. Obama wastes time on plenty of stupid shit. Right? Bottom line is he has fuck you lame duck status that is the reason he is not going.[1] https://www.youtube.com/wat