Personally I do not understand the significance of deploying Square at their stores as they already have dedicated payment terminals, and magnetic cards are inherently insecure, but that's just me. Then again I am not American, and I am digressing a bit here again. Anyway, after ordering a drink so complex there are actually guides online that teaches you how to do it, I attempted the pay. The store I visited does not in fact accept contactless payment, but you probably knew that already. That's £2 something I am never going to see again, but hei, it's all in the name of research!
|No, it isn't|
Also, please learn how to pull a decent shot of espresso.
My second fail of the day was a pretty major one. This occurred at the Marks & Spencer branch at St Albans. Here I was aiming to complete the 'buy flowers for your partner' challenge. I am rubbish at this task, just ask my girlfriend. So after spending a good 10 minutes looking at them, I picked up a bouquet of roses (I know, how cliche), then went on to pay. This was when the biggest contactless fail of the week happened.
|But, but, I did!|
Now, this whole experience is enough to put anyone off using contactless ever, but I am not the kind who can be deterred early. Early adopters may be able to put up with this sort of setbacks, but how is the industry ever going to convince the public on the merits of a cashless future if the reliability is, well, shit? (I have since found out what the problem was, which I will discuss below)
While en route to Tesco, I stopped at Nando's for dinner. Sadly it appears that news of Nando's embracing contactless payment was widely off the mark, so minus one point to Nando's for not keeping their promises and minus another point for burning my chicken!
|The correct way to tap|
This is a problem that should not have happened but is because the industry can't sit down and agree on a single standard. For example, why doesn't the app uses the baked-in on-device NFC chipset for mobile payment?
Overall, while it was a rather rubbish contactless day, I am happy with at least completing the flower challenge. With Ewan catching up rapidly and right on the tail, the flower challenge allowed me to extend my lead ever so slightly. Still, the race is getting tighter and there are a few more tough challenges to go. If you want to issue challenges to either of us, do so on twitter using the #GemaltoNFC hashtag.
Challenges completed today:
Buy flowers for your partner using NFC
Challenges completed so far:
Pick up lunch - EAT, St Paul's - duck gyoza noodle soup
'Invest' in a box of treats - Marks & Spencers: Simply Food, St Paul's - donuts!
Send Gemalto a postcard - Post Office, Oxford StreetGo entirely contactless for a day - Prufrock Coffee for breakfast, Pret A Manger, Barbican for snacks, EAT, Lower Regent Street for lunch, M&S: Simply Food, Liverpool Street Railway Station for dinner
Become a Museum of London expert
Social suggestion from one of your followers (1/3)
Wildcard - Tesco Metro St Albans
Top up your phone credit - WHSmith, St Pancras International
Challenges still to complete:
Buy a burrito/wrap
Watch a film at a cinema
Pay for a hair cut
Take the boat
Get a round in at Slug & Lettuce
Ewan 113 points
Me 118 points