One of the most high-profile adopters of Apple’s new payment service Apple Pay is Whole Foods.
A couple of weeks after Apple Pay launched, payments expert Mike Dudas estimated that Apple Pay already accounted for 1% of all Whole Foods transactions — a startling amount given that Apple Pay is only available on a minority of iPhones, that Apple Pay is new, and that Apple Pay arguably doesn’t offer any real advantages over a credit card.
This apparent success triggered a burst of enthusiasm about Apple Pay.
Well, I shopped at a Whole Foods today for the first time in a while.
While I was paying (with a credit card), I asked the cashier how many people used Apple Pay.
“Apple Pay?” she asked. “What’s that?”
I was going to remind her, but then she remembered.
“Oh, is that the thing where you pay with your phone? No, no one uses that. Oh, I might have seen one kid once do that, but no one else does.”
Had the cashier been trained to use Apple Pay?
“No,” she said. “How do you do it?”
I said you needed an iPhone 6 and an authenticated credit card, etc.
“Ah,” she said. “Well, I only have an iPhone 4.”
This morning on Twitter, someone said that cashiers at the Whole Foods in Palo Alto, California, say that “75%” of people there use Apple Pay. If that number is exaggerated by a whole order of magnitude, it’s still impressive.
But at the Whole Foods in Hyannis, Massachusetts — which is not a total digital backwater — it doesn’t seem as though Apple Pay is taking the world by storm.