While not an official partner for Apple Pay, the presence of NFC terminals at many Home Depot locations across the country has enabled the contactless payment service to work as normal at select stores in the home improvement chain. Today, however, a user on Reddit received a response from Home Depot customer care that suggests the company may soon begin quietly phasing out support for Apple Pay completely at its brick-and-mortar stores, with PayPal highlighted as an alternative solution for customers.
"We currently do not accept Apple Pay in our local stores or online. We do have the option of using PayPal, in store or online. We may offer this feature in the future, but we currently do not have a time frame for this and if we are going to accept Apple Pay. We truly apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you Andrew."
The company's response leaves an open door for the re-activation of Apple Pay in its stores in the future, but doesn't commit to confirming that Apple's NFC-based payment service will ever be seen at their checkout counters again. Apple recently updated a support document on its website confirming that Home Depot "might not be currently set up to accept contactless payments, including Apple Pay" at this current time.
Although no direct reason is given, the company's mention of supporting PayPal online and in-store is a pretty good piece of evidence that Home Depot may simply be siding with a different electronic payments solution. It's also worth pointing out that a few responses on the original Reddit thread have had no trouble with using Apple Pay in their own local stores, so either the company is keeping quiet support of the service or it's taking a slow rollout to dismantling support for Apple Pay.
Top Rated Comments
It's particularly galling to me that a store/company that was supporting a particular technology up until Apple Pay made its debut would go out of their way to remove said technology. It was fine to take and support NFC payments before, but then Apple brought about the Apple Pay ecosystem, which, while a great self-contained ecosystem in that it's secure, convenient and protects consumer privacy, does not require merchants who were supporting NFC payments before to change anything. All they have to do to leave things in place is NOTHING. And just leaving things lie would allow not only Apple Pay users to benefit, but also users of Google Wallet and the upcoming Samsung Pay.
Now that Apple Pay, and the ensuing press and buzz around it is here they go out of their way to remove the functionality. Why? It doesn't cost them any more. Surely they are not against better security. And they wouldn't publicly proclaim that user convenience is their enemy. There's only one thing that Apple Pay brings to the game that scares the likes of Home Depot: User privacy. If they allow Apple Pay to work Home Depot is giving up the ability to track me. And that is a purely self-serving motivation at the expense of my interest.
So, Home Depot, if you are going to go out of your way to take away my convenience, security and privacy I will go out of my way to shop at a competitor. And this will be my reaction every time a merchant takes this approach.
I know right? Apparently making things as hard as possible is the way to run a business these days, who knew!
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