Losing my Apple Pay virginity

An experience in using Apple's new payment mechanism.

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

HSBC – my bank – has sorted out its problems and got Apple Pay up and working this morning. Over a morning coffee, I added my debit card to the Apple Watch app on my phone (an iPhone 5S, which isn’t capable of supporting Apple Pay itself), and set off to buy two pints of milk and a bottle of brandy with it.

Yes, there was a good reason for the brandy. No, it’s not the obvious one. No, I haven’t sunk to morning drinking since my second child was born, thank you very much.

My best bet was the local Co-op which is one of the chains supporting Apple Pay. I double-clicked the button on my watch, and held it up to the contactless terminal. A second later “transaction approved” popped up on screen. Job done.

That was easy. Compellingly easy, in fact. No getting a wallet or phone out of my pocket. Just two clicks and pay. Nice and simple.

“Did you… did you just pay with your watch?” asked the cashier.


“Uh… so, can you do that with any ordinary watch?”

“Uh, no. It’s an Apple Watch,” I replied.

“Oh,” she replied, promptly losing interest.

Well, I enjoyed it.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.