HSBC takes Twitter tongue-lashing over failure to offer Apple Pay

Public transport is predictably popular, finds poll

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Apple Pay has upset a few people already. People who can’t get to work, people who’ve been charged twice, and people who bank with HSBC.

HSBC has felt the wrath of Apple fanbois for failing to launch Apple Pay, with negative tweets about the bank outnumbering positive ones five to one on the day of launch.

These are the findings of Brandwatch, a company which calls itself an “enterprise social intelligence platform”, and which monitors social networks to find out how twitterers feel about things.

The company compiled a list of 26,000 online mentions of the Apple Watch UK launch, and so assembled an unwilling focus group of 15,789 people.

The bank which did best out of the launch was NatWest, with 583 tweets, of which 53 per cent were positive, according to Brandwatch. Although not many tweeted about Santander, the majority of those who did – 59 per cent – didn’t say nice things.

The only bank customers who were overwhelmingly happy were Nationwide users who were 87.9 per cent smiley.

The most popular use of Apple Pay in the UK, so far, is on Transport for London’s bus, tube and rail network.

The research found that high street retailers Waitrose, Tesco and Boots are the top five brands with the most Apple Pay evangelists. Nando’s, Co-op, Subway, McDonalds and Starbucks have the least.

Waitrose users really struggled, with 74.4 percent of customers taking to Twitter to vent their frustration.

“We’re surprised to see Nando’s – a typically strong brand on social media – gain so few Apple Pay mentions,” said Natalie Meehan, Brandwatch’s Marketing Insights Analyst.

But people are struggling with the technology. Brandwatch found that ten per cent of posts are about how to get it to work, with Meehan saying that “Apple Pay is positioned as being the fastest and easiest way to pay [but] if you think there’s a 50 per cent chance it could fail, you’ll just reach for your credit card instead.”

Brandwatch's Marcus Beard told The Register that since the survey Apple Pay's vibe has taken a plunge with the news that if your phone goes flat on the Tube you'll get a penalty fare when you can't bonk to get out.

Asked if these were initial problems or if people would give up, Beard said: "It will all depend on how Apple and retailers respond in the next week". ®

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