Apple Pay has taken some heat from the nattering nabobs of negativism because you can’t find it at every retail location in the world. Master Card and Visa Card show up almost everywhere, but the number of banks that issue such cards must number in the umpteen gazillion.
I’m with Apple watcher, and fellow boomer Dave Farrington and put the CVS drug store chain on my do-not-disturb store list because they rejected Apple Pay in favor of their own payment system and app. I don’t even mind that CVS wants to track their customers and provide them an easy way to pay– while they track what customers buy– but I want the choice to determine my own payment method.
Apple Pay does not let merchants track your purchases. There’s no connections. It’s pure Apple. Wave your magic iPhone wand or Watch, the transaction takes place, security and convenience are maintained, and the warm and fuzzy factor hits another high.
Instead of convenience, ease-of-use, and a more secure system, CVS and a number of other retailers want to roll their own methods so they can capture customer information. Alright. Fair enough. Except there is a fly in that ointment. They block Apple Pay from use. To CVS and other criminally irresponsible retail outlets, it’s apparently OK to have those stupid chip cards which hold up the checkout line. It’s OK to have their own iPhone app that also holds up the checkout line because users have to fish for their phones, then find the app, then make the payment, but it’s not OK for Apple Pay users to make a purchase using the best and most secure payment system.
If someone steals your phone they can use the CVS Pay system to buy whatever they want. Not so with Apple Pay because the Touch ID fingerprint scanner intercepts thieves (unless they chop off your finger and carry that with them when they buy something on your card).
Choice is good. CVS and retailers who push their own payment systems onto their customers are not good, and in the spirit of a crazy election season, I vote with my feet.
That brings me to another interesting way Apple differentiates itself from competitors. Subtle, but a difference. There are no more Apple Stores. That’s right, the word ‘Store’ is missing from recent description verbiage at Apple. It’s Apple Fifth Avenue, Apple Union Square, but no Apple Store. Here in Atlanta with have Apple Lenox Square, Apple Cumberland Mall near the Mincey Plantation, and Apple Perimeter (which is in the Perimeter Mall).
No Apple Store.
Apple also recently sent out a memo to its retail employees, letting them know that the “Store” branding is gradually being dropped from both retail locations and online. While Apple told employees the change will be gradual and will start with new stores, pages for almost all stores have been updated to remove the “Store” titling.
Why the change? Are they not stores anymore?
The decision to remove the “Store” portion of Apple’s line of retail locations likely has to do with efforts to turn newer stores into more than just simple stores, positioning them as gathering places for their communities.
That explains some of the recent store interior changes. Apple seems to want people to gather, hang out, associate with associates, I guess. I like visiting an Apple retail locations (that just rolls of the tongue, doesn’t it?) when I want to look at something, but I’m not likely to hang out there otherwise. I’m with Wil Gomez and already I spend too much money each month on Apple gear.