“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!