I love the idea of being that edgy kid who runs the DJ club and always carries the cool new gadgets, so last week when I saw someone pay for their groceries with their iPhone, I knew something drastic had to be done in order to catch up and be current again.
I was playing with the advanced technology of tomorrow, so it goes without saying that the process of setting up my card was incredibly difficult. First, I had to take a picture of the front of my card. Next, I had to pretend to read a lengthy terms of agreement. The final step involved calling my bank to ask a real live person to activate my account, and the mere thought of having to do this gave me so much anxiety that I put it off for at least a month.
Simran was the customer service agent with the misfortune of having to deal with my prissy complaints. I was connected to him because called the live person account authentication didn’t work the first time.
“This will be an easy fix,” he assured. “I only need you to tell me the balances of your accounts, your social security number, the religion you practiced in your last life, all the species of iguana that you’re familiar with, and how to spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
Finally, he told me he had fixed the problem and that my card would be ready to use. “Can you check your app now and see if it worked?”
I checked. A note in the app said that my card was suspended, which had not changed from the first time I called to get it authenticated.
“But I authorized it! It says here on my screen that I did it! Check again it is not my fault!”
I thanked him and ended the call.
Days later, as I sat grieving my rejection to the Apple Pay club, the card suspension notice was replaced with “Your Card is now ready”. I had conquered the impossible.
I immediately hopped on a bus and looked for places where I could flex at the cashier and pointlessly spend money.
The first store I made a purchase from was HomeSense, where I spent an hour digging out Tupperware from the back corner of the store to find matching lid colours. I was so excited redefine contemporary sophistication for the moms waiting in the checkout line with me, but when I got to the register I learned that the HomeSense pay terminals didn’t have the tap function.
I still had to prove I was cool. “Paying without tap is so weird,” I bragged to the poor cashier, who wasn’t paid to stroke my pride, but did so silently anyway. “I don’t even think I remember my PIN.”
Next, I visited the dollar store, because I realized that running these experiments would add up fast. I stared at the prices, fumed at the inflation taking place at Dollarama, and simultaneously questioned if it was morally right to support a company that clearly turned its nose up at paying its suppliers a living wage. I ended up at the cashier with a set of empty spice jars.
When it came time to pay, I made sure that the pay terminal had tap technology and proudly waved my phone all over it. When nothing happened, I started slapping my phone on the terminal in despair. Really, I deserved the venom I got from the cashier. “It’s not gonna work,” she insisted testily.
“It did last time,” I mumbled back, with little conviction. I counted out exact change for her instead.
When I left Dollarama, I unlocked my phone to find a banner that read, “cellular data is not turned on for Apple Pay”. I had put my phone on airplane mode and it needed internet to connect to a bank.
Becoming a Winner
I would have given up at this point had I not missed the bus by minutes because I had wasted so much time colour matching Tupperware and interally debating the pros and cons of global trade and consumerism. Now, I had half an hour to burn.
Though I felt dejected as I wandered into Winners, I knew the stars had aligned the moment I stepped in the door. I cruised through the checkout line with a pile of candy and found myself facing the final cashier.
“How will you be paying?”
I was so surprised when my phone buzzed to indicate a successful transaction that I almost dropped it. The cashier didn’t even blink.
Will I be using Apple Pay again? No.
There’s edgier tech to conquer now.