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Don’t forget, it’s the shopping experience that counts in mobile payments

“I’ll have a cup of coffee,” I think to myself, “How cool, they have put contactless on the vending machine and are advertising (brightly) that they accept Apple Pay”. The geek in me can’t resist; “Sorry son, I need my phone back. Yes, you can play Angry Birds on it again later.”  

So, I hit the vending machine buttons for the coffee, set it at extra strong and a bit milky—5 button taps. Erm, now what? The Vending Screen says “Insufficient Credit.” Drat, that’s obvious. It’s because I didn’t put any money in. 

So how do I do this? The contactless device has an LCD display, I just missed it before in my rush to get the coffee, and it reads “For Card, Press White Button.” 

Aha! I hit the physical white button on the card reader, prime Apple Pay and do the tap. The Vending Screen says “Please make a selection.” 

That’s it, bring on that cup of char! I do the 5 button taps, but I fumble, too much milk, go back and re-adjust, which forces me to do the strength again.  

Then guess what happens? Yup, Vending Machine: “Insufficient Credit,” it timed out. After less than a minute. So Apple Pay applied again, and this time with clinical precision, I hit the same buttons and get my cup of (really bad) coffee.  

I can’t help but think that the average Joe would have quit. Too annoying. Too confusing. Made them feel like a plonker. As it turned out though, I didn’t have any cash, but I could have resorted to chip and pin (or contactless card, if my pocket money account had one). But I’m a geek remember? 

So the motto of the story is this: Fancy new payment methods are cool, but don’t forget it’s the overall experience that counts.  

… and to add insult to injury, one of the nurses told me off for not putting a lid on my (really bad) coffee. D’oh! 

Practice Lead, Real-Time & Digital Payments

Dean has been in the solution space for over 20 years. Initially starting out at IBM as an IT architect consulting to cross-industry blue chip clients, it was at IBM where, as lead integration architect on an ePOS chip & PIN replacement programme for a leading UK retailer, Dean caught the cards and payments bug. Following IBM, Dean moved 100 percent into cards and payments solution consulting and product management leadership within TSYS, and later with Vocalink. At Vocalink Dean was head of product for what is now known as Pay By Bank App, combining faster payments with mobile payments to replace plastic cards to buy goods (a precursor to PSD2). At ACI Worldwide, Dean has held various product leadership roles covering consumer and merchant management, clearing & settlement, reconciliation, dispute management, mobile payments and now immediate payments and hub solutions. With this latest addition Dean is working with global partners to support the transformation of payments into a digitally-native, real-time industry, supporting any payment, every possibility.

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