Apple Pay may soon usher in a new era of mobile payments, but it looks like brick-and-mortar stores might still have some work to do.
Apple Pay represents Apple’s official entrance into mobile payments, and while the new system will let you pay for your Big Mac with an iPhone 6 or Apple Watch, according to Re/code, stores will be relying on the same machines they use to swipe your credit cards.
McDonald’s, for example, uses a machine that can accept payment from traditional credit cards. But at the top of the machine is an NFC sensor that can wirelessly read the chip nestled inside some more modern credit cards.
Apple Pay with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch will “talk” to this same NFC sensor, but that could pose a problem for fast-food locations like McDonald’s, where the terminals usually rest inside the drive-thru window next to the cash register.
In this case, a McDonald’s employee was nice enough to physically pick up and dangle the terminal out the window so the customer could tap their iPhone 6 against the machine.
In the future, stores might have to mount the payment terminals outside of their drive-through windows, as an employee can’t handle a customer’s iPhone for them due to the required fingerprint authentication.
Either that, or get an extension cord.
Depending on if Apple Pay truly takes off, retailers may need to ensure their payment terminals are within easy reach of their customers, as paying with an Apple Watch would also be cumbersome.
Soon, customers everywhere will have to decide between the hassle of reaching into their wallet for a physical credit card or annoying a fast-food employee for the terminal.
It will probably come down to which one is faster.
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