Paying by phone

Samsung PayI’ve not typically played “early adopter” for new technology, but sometimes the change is so remarkably compelling, the convenience and ease-of-use so stunning, that I’d be remiss *not* to make the change. Using my phone to make credit/debit card charges falls into this category.

I stumbled into my first use of this feature, having recently set up a card in my phone, when Mr. H. and I were checking out with our merchandise and he said, “Oh, no! I left my wallet in the truck!” and I said, “Hey! Let me try this handy new app!” (Or something to that effect.)

And so, at the IGA grocery story, in the small island town of Port Aransas, I launched the app, held it over the card-reader, and we paid for our groceries.

However, it was many months before I tried again (at an Einstein Bagels), and the cashier was unable to get it to work, and there was a line, so we aborted the effort. It was even more months before the next attempt. Coincidentally, it was, again, at the Port Aransas IGA. This time, the experience was completely different.

In the trial run, the experience was low-key (I’m not even sure if the cashier noticed). The second IGA encounter involved a hostile cashier who was outraged at my attempt to hold my phone over the card reader. She shouted and waved her arms, telling me it doesn’t work, and they don’t support it, and blah, blah, blah…while the register registered my card and I approved the transaction.

She called over the front end manager who took the receipt (and a copy that he insisted she print) to the office while muttering about how they don’t support this. Meanwhile, I pulled up my bank account app, logged in, and tried to show the still-hostile cashier that the transaction had already posted to my account. She was having none of it. She proceeded to be hostile to the customer in line behind me. (Who knows? Maybe she was hostile to the customer in front of me, too.)

The manager returned, gave me both copies of the receipt, explained that they were burned by someone who used their phone to pay and somehow escaped with $100 worth of unpaid for groceries, and so they don’t support the technology and he didn’t think it worked.

Technology proved victorious, and I was allowed to leave with my $12 worth of merchandise (sunscreen and a bag o’ ice).

Now, I am itching to go shopping (completely out of character), on a mission to explore various venues with this newfangled app, replacing my wallet with my always-handy, ever-ready phone.

Let the games begin!

About Fran Hart

Disciple of Christ, earning a living as the director of US-based operations for a Taiwanese company, managing an engineering organization while carving out time to write. Wife, Mother, Grandmother.
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