About 20 years ago, fast food establishments were a cash only deal. I remember when the first restaurants started taking credit and debit cards. It was a mess. They wouldn't have a pen for you to sign the receipt. The cashiers were confused. I hated carrying cash, though, and would go out of my way to find a restaurant that took cards. Sometimes, it didn't work. It took a while, but over time, the experience got better and now, almost everyone accepts debit cards. Cash only establishments are the exception, not the rule.
I feel like we are seeing a similar slow transition with Apple Pay and contactless payment in general.
When Apple Pay works, it's magic. Effortless. Yes, sometimes cashiers are confused and occasionally, the system doesn't work correctly. But I still go out of my way to visit a store that accepts Apple Pay because the experience is that good.
I go to the Walgreens near my house more often now because they take Apple Pay. And I was excited tonight to find out the neighborhood Starbucks takes Apple Pay now, too.
My desire to use Apple Pay is only amplified by the messy chip card rollout. While I understand why we've made the switch to chip cards, I hate everything about the process.
It might be a little messy for a few more years. But hopefully, in 20 years, contactless payment will be everywhere and we'll remember how absurd debit cards were.
Until then, I’ll be waiting patiently.