Earlier today I was paying for breakfast in cash. I handed the waiter a $20 bill and he returned with change, looked me in the eye and thanked me for coming to his restaurant. I thought about how quaint this was and how there is a real human connection that a cash transaction facilitates that doesn’t quite translate to cards and mobile.
And there’s nothing that could have changed my thoughts on this topic faster than a visit to the Apple store; a venue that has perfected the art of making you feel fantastic about parting with your money—cash, credit, mobile or otherwise.
After selecting a cover for my new iPad, I was approached by an Apple “Specialist” named Kim Paulk. With a huge smile on her face, Kim asked me how I was doing on this beautiful day and if I needed help finding anything. I quickly noticed that to Kim’s left was a gorgeous Golden Retriever—her guide dog—with a sign that read “She Is Hard Of Hearing and Low Vision. I am working, Do Not Touch, this helps me do a good job guiding her.”
I told Kim I’d found everything I was looking for and I just needed to pay—remembering that Apple reps can swipe you out from their device. Without hesitation, Kim asks if I had an iPhone and US iTunes account. I answered “yes” and she then said, “would you like to check yourself out with your own iPhone? This way, you don’t have to wait for us in the future.”
It took me a second to respond, saying, “sure, awesome,” because my brain was overloading with how awesome Apple is.
In less than two minuets, Kim showed me how to download the Apple Store app, scan my purchase and confirm payment. After grabbing a bag, Kim smiled again, asked me if she could hand me her card, and said “mine’s a little different, it’s also in Braille.” We shook hands, thanked each other, and I was on my way.
So as it turns out, cashless transactions can have a human connection too.