In Southern IL not so much. One of the first places in my area was Panera, but the system at that particular store works sometimes and not at other times. Interestingly, I spent a month working in London last year and was able to use Apple Pay almost everywhere, even in the outlying areas of the city. And, in that city, the best exchange rate I could get was to use my Simple Bank card, with or without my iPhone, at most any ATM – even when including the service fee it beat anything I could get walking into a bank or exchange shop. Where I live won’t be much empowered with AP until/unless Sams, Walmart and Target get on the ball, which I’m guessing won’t be anytime soon.
All three Aldis that are within driving distance now take Apple Pay, sort of. And, before I get into what that actually looks like I want to add that, Target and Sam’s Club also allow you to check out using your iOS device, but, not Apple Pay specifically. Target really doesn’t work out well since all you get to do is scan your discount barcode from your phone, but you still are compelled to use cash or plastic to complete your transaction. Sam’s Club takes this one step farther and actually does allow you to checkout using your phone, but they’ve circumvented Apple Pay by having customers scan their own shopping cart items so that when you get to the register you, again, scan a barcode, but, this time the app is directly connected to a qualified card so you can, in fact, complete your check out with nothing but your phone, assuming you’ve got the app set up correctly BEFORE going into the store. It takes a little practice, but it really speeds up getting through checkout.
Now back to Aldis. I live in southern IL, so if you’re familiar with the area you’ll know the cities I’m going to refer to. Harrisburg: This is my least favorite Aldis because they just don’t have the selection that the other two stores in my area have, and significantly fewer organic choices across the board, but, Apply Pay in that store is the most reliable of the three. Marion: The hands-down best of the three stores for overall selection and certified organic meats and fresh produce, (still needs more improvement along these lines, but the best of the three to date). Apple Pay is spotty and the cashiers are not very friendly to helping the process along if Apple doesn’t connect properly the first time. Carbondale: Has an overall decent selection of food products, but has some catching up to do to match what the Marion store offers in the way of organics. Apple Pay is very spotty and the cashiers very unfriendly to assisting customers if the Apple Pay connection doesn’t succeed the first time. Unfriendly to the point where, if they see me whip out my phone to pay they will literally star off into the distance behind me, and if I ask for assistance they will not move a muscle to tear their eyes away from the distant object while mumbling that they don’t know anything about that. I’ve had that experience just about every time I’ve walked into that store – the Apple Pay fail followed by the attitude.
An additional store that now takes Apple Pay, without prejudice, is Staples, where about 80% of my Apple Pay transactions succeed and if they don’t the cashier are generally about as attentive to the customer’s situation as they are if you are using plastic. There may be other stores in my area that are now taking Apple Pay, but I’m unaware of them if they are. Whenever I go to a store for the first time, or that I have not visited in awhile, I will almost always ask they take Apple Pay and I do it as an awareness campaign for those that don’t. Oh yeah, and all of the Subways in the region are also taking Apple Pay and it seems pretty reliable at the two stores I frequent.
I really appreciate not having to shell out cash, which tends to get onlookers more interested in my wallet than I’m comfortable with, and I really don’t miss having to use plastic where I put myself at risk twice with every transaction in a checkout line – Once when I pull the card out and expose the card number and the second time is when I often have to enter a four-digit security code. (I’ve actually been scammed this way before and was aware that the person behind was paying too close attention to the card I was holding in my hand even as I was doing my level best to keep it tucked in my palm and held up agains my stomach while I waited for the cashier to complete the scanning process of my purchase. I almost have instant recall for long strings of numbers so I know this is easily possible. If it doesn’t come naturally a person can train themselves to remember long strings of numbers almost instantly.)
For me, Apple Pay is not only cool, but mostly, it’s just more secure for paying when shopping in the corporeal world.