I recently upgraded to the new iPhone 6 Plus, from my older Samsung Galaxy SIII. While I had been in the Apple market for mobile devices a while back, with the iPhone 4, when it was time for a new phone I went with Android because of the screen size and additional features.

Given that, I was excited to see a larger iphone, and had heard awesome things about the iOS 8 features – including, among others, Apple Pay and Passbook.

So I set out one afternoon to test this tempting feature – having all my payment cards and loyalty cards in one place? Being able to pay at merchants with just a press of a finger to the TouchID on the iPhone 6? It was like a sci-fi movie come true.

I sat down and opened Passbook, immediately selecting the option to “Set Up Apple Pay”, with the intent of entering my oft-used MasterCard debit card. I dutifully typed in the card number, expiration date and security code and clicked “Next”…. only to see:

Apple Pay Fail

I was disappointed, but after looking at Apple’s list of Apply Pay participating issuers, I understood why, as I belong to a smaller credit union – and it looks like there was only a handful (31 as of the time of this post) of major banks who participated. Honestly, such a small number is a drop in the bucket, and seems to cut out a lot of users. I could switch to one of the ‘big banks’, of course – in fact, one of the ones I used to belong to is on the list – but honestly, I find the customer service, benefits, lower fees (in my case, zero fees and money back) and ease of use of my credit union much more valuable than the ability to use Apple Pay. It’s just as easy to pull a card from my wallet.

As for credit cards – I only have 3, being very contentious of budget and building savings; one is issued by the same credit union, and the other two are store cards and are stored in the appropriate apps as they cannot be used outside of those stores.

I could enter my multiple Starbucks giftcards into Apple Pay…. but I already make extensive use of the Starbucks app for the same purpose. If there were more things I could use Apple Pay for, sure – but as it stands, I’ll stick with the Starbucks app.

Disappointed that Apple Pay was useless to me, I instead switched to the Passes section of Passbook.

I don’t currently have any boarding passes or movie tickets to enter, but the option for loyalty cards – now that interested me! I currently have a total of 13 loyalty cards on my keychain that have the little barcode to be scanned at retailers. These range from local gas stations and restaurants to national chains such as CVS and Toys R Us, so I was optimistic that at least a few of them would work in Passbook!

…..Only to find not a single one, scanned, all of them giving the “No Pass Available for This Code” error.

Apple Passbook Fail

Toys R Us, which is an Apple Pay vendor according to Apple’s website, I assumed would at least have their loyalty card connected, since they already have an agreement with Apple – but no. And unfortunately, a Google search online came up pretty slim on a list of loyalty cards that could be used with Passbook – to the tune of “I couldn’t find any”.

I did find a few articles that suggested Fandango was a common use, as was boarding passes for major airlines – but given as I don’t use Fandango more than once or twice a year, and fly even less than that, I’m not sure how much use Passbook would be for me.

Actually, I am sure – it will be of no use to me until Apple expands their retailer base.

Honestly, my circumstance may be unusual – but judging by online buzz from a simple Google search of “Apple Pay Complaints”, I’m not the only one disappointed in number of retailer and bank support, not to mention Apple Pay snafus that have happened recently.

Which is a shame, as I think the app has a ton of potential – if Apple can get retailers and banks, not to mention increased security and quality control behind it.


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