MBW 816: Sleepin' In

You won’t have to, but you could choose to. That is what this is all about, choice. If you like Apple Pay, you can use that, if you are happier with your bank, use that, or if you already have a third party payment provider, use them.

That has proven to not be the case here in the US with several large retailers. Walmart won’t accept Apple Pay, CVS tried to launch an alternative to Apple Pay. You’re assuming that given a longer leash they will give us a choice. I think that you are giving them too much credit.

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Isn’t the Walmart thing because they are contracted already to a QR-code payment provider? They had their own app too last time I was there. That’s more about retailers wanting shopping habit data (like loyalty cards). That situation prob wouldn’t change if Apple opened up their NFC payments to all.

Right - that’s my point. Everyone wants to own the user experience and own all of the data. I want a unified, more privacy focused (I know it isn’t perfect either way), easier experience.

I can only speak for Europe, but they all use the same standard/machines, you can always pay with debit card or one of the smartphone apps.

I wondered this. Is it the same contactless protocol globally from device to vendor’s terminal irrespective of if you use Apple/Google/Samsung/bank card etc? Everything works wherever you see the contactless logo.

So any Apple ‘special sauce’ is the privacy T&Cs and authentication method on the phone?

Mark Gurman’s Bloomberg newsletter has an article on this today. Apple make $1 billion/year out of Apple Pay charges, but it’s a growth area.

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My complaint? I use Google Pay whenever possible (phone/watch). After I scan my device, I am them told I need to use my card…

Based on the theme of this thread, I would blame it on Apple.

Apple and Google use a slightly different protocol, but all modern readers understand the standard protocols and those from Google and Apple etc.

This is a problem with how North American banking system works. The “system” makes money by charging a fee for every transaction. Walmart won’t pay this fee to Apple because a) it is too high b) they don’t have to c) they want the data d) they don’t want the expense of updating all their terminals e) other reasons I’m sure.

Walmart is big enough that it expects the banks to negotiate with it (read that as beg for their business) and thus it gets sweetheart deals. I heard, for example, that they pay a low flat rate for debit transactions of something less than $0.15 per transaction, where a lot of smaller retails have to give up a percentage.

The only thing that would force Walmart’s hand would be if they had competition that was winning because it accepted what they don’t. We’re back to monopoly again because Walmart has NO brick and mortar competition, really.


I think this is one of the biggest differences between the US and Europe (and many other countries). The consumer protection is part of government in Europe and it gets legislation in place to protect consumers from the excesses of business.

The US is different. The consumer protection organisations are privately funded, as far as I know, and the law makers are lobbied by the highest bidder to get their votes. This may be a little unfair to some politicians who do have scruples and don’t take any money from lobbyists and aren’t reliant on lobbyists or big business to help win their seats, but it seems a lot of politicians do accept funding from big business.

The UK also seems to be going this way, especially under the current government, and Europe is also on this slippery slope, but a loooong way behind the US. All lobby money has to be declared, all external income has to be declared, anyone caught enriching themselves through their position is out on their ear - several German politicians were caught either investing directly in mask producing/distributing companies or getting government contracts for backhanders and they had to resign immediately, once it came out.

So, the EU is, to some extent, still looking out for the consumer, or as they like to put it, citizens. Some of it is misguided, like the Browser Ballot at the turn of the century and some of it is questionable, like the current USB-C requirement - on the face of it, having a single standard for wall-warts that are 100% interchangeable is a great goal, even if there are some open questions about its practicality and whether USB-C with PD really is a definitive standard.

But, in other areas, it does pay for itself, having the EU and local governments looking out for the citizens. The right to privacy being one of them. Companies cannot sell your information without your consent, this goes doubly so for financial institutions, they cannot sell or share your data, end of story. Heck, there are also restrictions about them using the data to sell you other products from their own portfolio.

Additionally, they push standards, again, some questionable, but most are useful. Like banking, if I have the account number of any person or business in Europe, I can simply fill in a form or go online and send them money. It doesn’t matter which country they are in, let alone which bank they use, I just type their account number into my banking app or website and the amount I want to transfer and the job is done. I haven’t had a chequebook for my German accounts, ever. I still have one for my British account, but I have written maybe 2 cheques in the last 2 decades - mainly because the UK account doesn’t comply with the SEPA system and I can’t enter an EU account number.

The same is true for payment standards. The banks all use the same standard and all the card readers in Europe can read any EU bank card and perform the transaction using that card. The same is generally true for Apple Pay and Google Pay. The terminals usually work with them, it is just up to the retailer, whether they are willing to pay the extra cut that Apple/Google/Samsung etc. want, on top of the card transaction fees. The same goes for credit cards. A decade ago, hardly anywhere in Germany accepted credit cards, outside of hotels, restaurants or gas stations, you either paid cash or used your EC (debit) card; that is slowly changing with more and more places starting to accept credit cards.

There are some loyalty cards, but not in the same way as the US. Our local supermarket has one, but it is anonymous - in fact, you can simply pick up a new card as the checkout; and many people do, they use a new card every time they go shopping, so they get the small discount, but they only ever use the card once and it isn’t locked to their personal details.

Some use a national bonus points system, like the Deutschland Karte, but I see very few people actually using them. We had one when we bought our house and had to buy some furniture, the bonus points got us a couple of weeks worth of groceries, but the value of points collected, in general are so low, it isn’t really worth doing it, for the amount of information that the companies can gather on you - we haven’t used the cards in around a decade.

There is the California Consumer Privacy Act though. Has this extended to other States? I was reading a review of Samsung Pay for example, and they highlighted that as a result of CCPA there’s an option to opt out of sharing data. I don’t think I have this option in the UK.

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I think California, Colorado and Connecticut (I remember @leo mentioning the C-States on TWIT/TWIG this week, Cali and Conn are correct, I think Colorado was the third) have similar levels of protection to EU, in terms of data privacy, but in the EU, it runs a lot deeper than just GDPR, there are cartel laws, monopoly laws etc. that are very different in the EU and more aimed at protecting the consumer.

Samsung Pay probably doesn’t collect data in the UK/Europe because of GDPR anyway…

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