New PayFinders app for locating Apple Pay merchants reports 750% increase in users in two days

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2015
A new app designed to crowdsource an interactive map of businesses that accept Apple Pay just reported adding 12,673 new merchants in North America, 95 percent of them being small businesses. In parallel, its developer reported that the new app's users have increased an incredible 750 percent over the past two days, indicating a lot of interest in Apple Pay.


PayFinders helps users locate merchants who accept Apple Pay


Brian Roemmele, the PayFinder app's creator, announced the jump in Apple Pay interest on Twitter earlier today, observing that "Christmas was good to the iPhone 6 series and Apple Pay adoption." On Christmas Day, Roemmele had earlier noted that 'indirect activation data suggested that the Target and BestBuy $100 off Apple Watch promotion may have doubled [the number of Apple Watch] devices in use.'

Apple is quickly expanding Apple Pay's reach beyond the U.S., with the service launching in the UK in June and more recently in Canada and Australia last month. It is expected to begin operating in China early in 2016.



Apple Maps vs Apple Pay



While Apple itself has added Apple Pay badges to the detail pages of a number of select merchants in its own Maps app, the badges appear to be mostly limited to larger chains, and suffer from one of the most significant remaining flaws of Maps: the divergence between search results and browsed map locations.


Apple Maps knows this Rite Aid accepts Apple Pay


For example, when browsing Maps in iOS 9.2, clicking on a high profile merchant's map location often serves up a detail page that does indicate its acceptance of Apple Pay (above).

However, when performing a search for that same merchant--even by exact name--Maps often delivers a basic address-only page with no other information (below), even though it's the exact same location and merchant that Apple's Maps knows about and lists as a browsed location.


But searching for "Rite Aid" in Apple Maps returns this instead


Apple's still-dysfunctional performance in Maps' point-of-presence data has created a need filled by the PayFinders app, and users appear to be very interested in finding the Apple Pay data that Apple itself has yet to consistently, competently deliver in its own.

This is a particularly strange problem for Apple to continue dragging into 2016, given that Apple's new universal search in iOS 9 does provide complete search results (including Apple Pay acceptance) for many locations that Maps itself can't quite seem to return relevant results for on its own.

Maps' performance is particularly embarrassing when users search for "Apple Pay." Rather than listing relevant nearby merchants (as PayFinders does), Apple Maps drops a location pin on "Apple Way," a sleepy suburb halfway between Orlando and Miami in Florida (a pin that's over 3,000 miles away from my current location in Portland, Oregon, where the map was centered when I did the search).


Apple Maps is essentially worthless in searching for Apple Pay merchants


If 2015 was the "Year of Apple Pay," perhaps Apple should make 2016 the "Year of Apple Maps being able to actually find stuff, like Apple Pay." Until then, PayFinders offers users a way to find (and share) the locations of merchants who currently accept Apple Pay.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Great news for Apple.

    Now await analysts reporting that iPhone sales are down.
    roxsocks
  • Reply 2 of 34
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,943member
    So they went from 10 to 75 users?
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 3 of 34
    cornchip said:
    So the went from 10 to 75 users?
    While I appreciate your sarcasm, your math is wrong. IF there were only 10 users and it went to 75 uses that would be a 650% increase; i.e. [(75-10)/10] x 100 = 650% to get to 750%, IN YOUR EXAMPLE, there would have to be 85 users now.
    cornchipmcarlingsuperklotonjbdragonroxsocks
  • Reply 4 of 34
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,943member
    juanm105 said:
    cornchip said:
    So the went from 10 to 75 users?
    While I appreciate your sarcasm, your math is wrong. IF there were only 10 users and it went to 75 uses that would be a 650% increase; i.e. [(75-10)/10] x 100 = 650% to get to 750%, IN YOUR EXAMPLE, there would have to be 85 users now.
    Lulz. I had a feeling I'd be off. Designers. Not so great at the maths. Good at sarcasm tho.
    russw
  • Reply 5 of 34
    red oakred oak Posts: 1,078member
    Apple just seems lost still when it comes to data and data integration.   Why Apple Maps has no support at all for Apple Pay is beyond me 


    freediverxjbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 34
    Seems like a good indicator for new activations. 
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 7 of 34
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Certainly Apple Maps still has room for improvement, though it's already come a long way since its introduction.
    lostkiwiredgeminipa
  • Reply 8 of 34
    A fair amount of ApplePay merchants by my house but not many that I use
  • Reply 9 of 34
    Um, it's "Pay Finders", not "PayFinders". Searching in the App Store gave me zip under PayFinders....
  • Reply 10 of 34
    Good idea for an app.

    "Find an unmet need and fill it!"
  • Reply 11 of 34
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    The thing abou ApplePay is that a merchant doesn't need to support ApplePay to support ApplePay.

    Here's s what I mean by that:
    I'm currently in Europe and ApplePay isn't even introduced yet here, but NFC payments are supported in most supermarkets, many gas stations etc.
    Even though nobody know about ApplePay and I have to pretend that I'm going to pay with my physical credit card, I can then just hold my phone up to the NFC reader and pay while the cashier's eyes pop out because she sees a valid transaction but also sees that my card was never near the NFC reader (much less are any of my US cards NFC equipped).

    In other words, what matters isn't who supports "ApplePay" but simply who has an NFC enabled credit card terminal. ApplePay, to such a terminal, is simply equivalent to an NFC equipped credit card: not more, not less.

    That known, there are likely thousands upon thousands of merchants who have no clue that they can accept ApplePay, even in countries which may be years away from having ApplePay available.
    The thing about ApplePay is, that it's a thing between Apple and local card issuing banks, not a thing between Apple and merchants: for merchants it's just a matter of having an NFC enabled credit card terminal.
    edited December 2015 leeeh2nolamacguylostkiwi
  • Reply 12 of 34
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,229member
    Don't need it in Canada ... if you have a supported US card (or an Amex card), Apple Pay essentially works everywhere. Hurry up Canadian banks, you're just looking sad now ...
    neil anderson
  • Reply 13 of 34
    rcfa said:
    The thing abou ApplePay is that a merchant doesn't need to support ApplePay to support ApplePay.

    Here's s what I mean by that:
    I'm currently in Europe and ApplePay isn't even introduced yet here, but NFC payments are supported in most supermarkets, many gas stations etc.
    Even though nobody know about ApplePay and I have to pretend that I'm going to pay with my physical credit card, I can then just hold my phone up to the NFC reader and pay while the cashier's eyes pop out because she sees a valid transaction but also sees that my card was never near the NFC reader (much less are any of my US cards NFC equipped).

    In other words, what matters isn't who supports "ApplePay" but simply who has an NFC enabled credit card terminal. ApplePay, to such a terminal, is simply equivalent to an NFC equipped credit card: not more, not less.

    That known, there are likely thousands upon thousands of merchants who have no clue that they can accept ApplePay, even in countries which may be years away from having ApplePay available.
    The thing about ApplePay is, that it's a thing between Apple and local card issuing banks, not a thing between Apple and merchants: for merchants it's just a matter of having an NFC enabled credit card terminal.
    Is that all there is to it? Because I remember going to an Office Depot last year and trying to use Apple Pay. The POS at the register had the NFC logo but it kept giving me an error message. The store clerk said it was because they hadn't turned on Apple Pay support yet.
  • Reply 14 of 34

    red oak said:
    Apple just seems lost still when it comes to data and data integration.   Why Apple Maps has no support at all for Apple Pay is beyond me 


    Yeah that to me seems like a no brainer. But I think it's safe to say there's little within Eddy Cue's org that has greatly improved over the past 3-4 years. Apple Music still has issues; Apple TV is far from polished and that App Store is kind of a mess; the iOS and Mac App stores clearly have issues (there's a reason they were moved under Phil Schiller and it was announced publicly); one could debate whether iCloud, Siri and Maps are best in class; Apple's professional software has stalled a bit (why was Microsoft Office being demoed on stage on the iPad Pro and not Apple's own productivity software); and even Apple Pay, while it works flawlessly for me every time I use it, has probably not been as successful so far as Apple had hoped. Tim Cook said 2015 would be the "year of Apple Pay" but it's hard to see where that's the case.

    I think Cue's org is still too big and full of a hodgepodge of things that don't really go together. I'd love to see Cook pair down Cue's org to content (iTunes, Apple Music, Apple TV) and Apple Pay and bring a new SVP in to run Apple's cloud business along with Siri and Maps and move the teams working on Apple's pro apps under Craig Federighi. Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple Pay all have huge potential to become big recurring revenue streams for Apple (something Wall Street is looking for). This would allow Eddy Cue to focus all of his energy on moving these platforms forward and at the same time would allow Apple's cloud business and professional software to get the attention it deserves and to really challenge Google, Amazon and Microsoft in the software space. All of this would have the added benefit of demonstrating to Wall Street that Apple is more than just iPhone, Inc. and that the stock shouldn't be valued like a traditional hardware company. And at the same time you have Jony and others focusing on Project Titan and other secret initiative so when iPhone really has peaked there's a pipeline of amazing stuff waiting in the wings to take its place.
  • Reply 15 of 34
    Just what we need in the rest of the world. How about it then?
    And not a Coffee Shop with a Green/white logo in sight! Yes

  • Reply 16 of 34
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,234member
    rcfa said:
    The thing abou ApplePay is that a merchant doesn't need to support ApplePay to support ApplePay.

    Here's s what I mean by that:
    I'm currently in Europe and ApplePay isn't even introduced yet here, but NFC payments are supported in most supermarkets, many gas stations etc.
    Even though nobody know about ApplePay and I have to pretend that I'm going to pay with my physical credit card, I can then just hold my phone up to the NFC reader and pay while the cashier's eyes pop out because she sees a valid transaction but also sees that my card was never near the NFC reader (much less are any of my US cards NFC equipped).

    In other words, what matters isn't who supports "ApplePay" but simply who has an NFC enabled credit card terminal. ApplePay, to such a terminal, is simply equivalent to an NFC equipped credit card: not more, not less.

    That known, there are likely thousands upon thousands of merchants who have no clue that they can accept ApplePay, even in countries which may be years away from having ApplePay available.
    The thing about ApplePay is, that it's a thing between Apple and local card issuing banks, not a thing between Apple and merchants: for merchants it's just a matter of having an NFC enabled credit card terminal.
    Is that all there is to it? Because I remember going to an Office Depot last year and trying to use Apple Pay. The POS at the register had the NFC logo but it kept giving me an error message. The store clerk said it was because they hadn't turned on Apple Pay support yet.
    The problem is many merchants have now turned off the NFC feature so they aren't working. Home Depot was the biggest one for me. I used it a lot until they announced they were going to work with Apple to get it set up. After the announcement, HD turned off the capability. It's the same with a lot of other merchants. NFC just works, unless the merchant doesn't want it to work, then it doesn't. Don't listen to the store clerks who say they haven't turned it on because I bet NFC is turned on by default when they receive their POS stations and they have to turn it off to make it not work. My wife gets mad at me when I challenge these clerks but it's the only way to force them into acknowledging the fact their management or IT staff turned NFC off. 

    I just got my notice that my Square contactless + chip card reader has been shipped. Now I'll be able to support ApplePay purchases with a $49 (get it back with first $49 in transaction fees being free) white AppleTV-like box. So much for changing to NFC costing a lot of money.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 17 of 34
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,234member
    Is that all there is to it? Because I remember going to an Office Depot last year and trying to use Apple Pay. The POS at the register had the NFC logo but it kept giving me an error message. The store clerk said it was because they hadn't turned on Apple Pay support yet.
    One more thing. I did a quick search and found this "ancient" quote (March 2011) about the new Verifone POS terminals, http://www.nfcworld.com/2011/03/03/36359/verifone-to-include-nfc-in-all-new-pos-terminals/

    "Merchants upgrading their point-of-sale terminals with Verifone will now find that they automatically have the ability to process contactless and NFC payments, without needing to weigh up the pros and cons of whether or not to specify — and pay for — the technology." 

    I don't know if they've changed their process but the who idea of adding NFC was to make it seamless. It's the merchants who don't understand what's going on or make an effort to disable NFC because they either don't like Apple or are trying to force the buying public into using a proprietary method for mobile purchases. Apple Pay only changes the process not where the money comes from and is seamless when it isn't being blocked by the merchant.

  • Reply 18 of 34
    rob53 said:
    Is that all there is to it? Because I remember going to an Office Depot last year and trying to use Apple Pay. The POS at the register had the NFC logo but it kept giving me an error message. The store clerk said it was because they hadn't turned on Apple Pay support yet.
    One more thing. I did a quick search and found this "ancient" quote (March 2011) about the new Verifone POS terminals, http://www.nfcworld.com/2011/03/03/36359/verifone-to-include-nfc-in-all-new-pos-terminals/

    "Merchants upgrading their point-of-sale terminals with Verifone will now find that they automatically have the ability to process contactless and NFC payments, without needing to weigh up the pros and cons of whether or not to specify — and pay for — the technology." 

    I don't know if they've changed their process but the who idea of adding NFC was to make it seamless. It's the merchants who don't understand what's going on or make an effort to disable NFC because they either don't like Apple or are trying to force the buying public into using a proprietary method for mobile purchases. Apple Pay only changes the process not where the money comes from and is seamless when it isn't being blocked by the merchant.

    Yeah that's the frustrating thing. There's nothing proprietary about Apple Pay yet getting merchants to adopt it seems like such a chore. And then ones that do, like Panera, don't adopt it at all their registers. So frustrating.
  • Reply 19 of 34
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,095member
    rob53 said:
    rcfa said:
    The thing abou ApplePay is that a merchant doesn't need to support ApplePay to support ApplePay.


    I just got my notice that my Square contactless + chip card reader has been shipped. Now I'll be able to support ApplePay purchases with a $49 (get it back with first $49 in transaction fees being free) white AppleTV-like box. So much for changing to NFC costing a lot of money.
    That's good to know. I have one ordered (for awhile!) but haven't seen a shipping notice yet. 
  • Reply 20 of 34
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,234member
    The thing that bothers me the most about merchants is that in my small town, there are still many (majority?) merchants who haven't even upgraded their POS terminals to accept chipped cards. I've asked and some say the old October date was extended into next year. Doesn't surprise me they'll do whatever it takes to not put any money into their companies (this includes one of the two grocery stores in town, I haven't checked Safeway but it's not listed on Pay Finder in my town). I know changing an entire POS system can be expensive but when a simple quilt shop has already changed you know the other small stores could easily upgrade as well. I have seen a lot of the Square POS terminals showing up in town, which seems like a much less expensive solution than getting just the credit card terminal and keeping their antiquated cash register.

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