Oops! Apple Pay has been double charging some customers

Apple Pay hands on
Apple’s much publicized mobile payments service has already hit a glitch, with some customers getting double charged for each purchase made.

Apple Pay launched at the start of this week, allowing anyone with an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to make purchases at thousands of stores and restaurants simply by holding the handset close to a contactless reader, with the payment debited from a linked bank account. That’s the idea, anyway, but already a number of Bank of America customers have been complaining about statements showing double payments.

So what’s going on?

CNN reporter Samuel Burke experienced the issue himself, hastily pointing it out to Bank of America. The bank said it was a problem with Apple’s system and said he should speak to the tech company.

“That seemed feasible, because all of the purchases I made without Apple Pay were only charged one time,” Burke wrote.

So, after being transferred to Apple Pay customer support, Burke was told that for security reasons, the Cupertino company doesn’t have any records of names or amounts linked to transactions. Marvelous.

The customer service rep told Burke to get back in touch with Bank of America as there was nothing Apple could do. “It was every consumer’s worst nightmare,” Burke wrote, “Customer service for two companies telling you to call the other.”

After Burke got Apple and Bank of America to speak to each other, the bank finally agreed to refund him for the erroneous double payments. Phew!

If Burke’s experience at trying to sort out the situation is repeated for all the other affected Apple Pay users (up to 1,000 have been hit), there’s going to be a lot of loud tutting going on, and possibly a fair bit of audible swearing.

Apple later issued a statement: “We’re aware of a Bank of America issue impacting a very small number of Apple Pay users. They’re working on a fix that will be available shortly and reversing any duplicate transactions.” Note the use of “they’re” – seems like no one’s willing to take the blame for this one yet.

Reports suggest a fix may have been rolled out late Wednesday, though at the time of writing there’s been no confirmation from Apple or Bank of America. In the meantime, if you’re using Apple Pay, best you keep a close eye on your statements until you’re confident your bank account isn’t emptying at twice the usual speed.

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