Saturday, January 27, 2018

Apple Pay – How Printed Store Receipts are Handled

Diane and I had an interesting couple of transactions. Around the holidays, Diane and I went to one of the big box retail stores and bought her Mom a couple of boxes of disposable heating pads for a sore shoulder. I used the Apple Pay app on my watch to pay for the pads. Last week her Mom let us know she did not need the second box so Diane brought that box back today with the original receipt.

There was some confusion at the store about the credit card number on the original receipt because it did not match either of the two cards Diane and I have. We were concerned the original transaction may have gone on someone else’s card and, with us returning the heating pads and getting credit on one of our cards, we may have gotten ourselves in some kind of trouble.

When Diane got home we looked at our credit card detail and sure enough – the $77.85 we spent on December 27 was listed. So, why was the last four unknown (to us) digits wrong on the original receipt? A little more digging found similar receipts with the same unknown four digit number for Apple Pay purchases.

With a little investigating, we were able to figure out what happened.  When you use Apple pay the card number on the receipt reflects your device ID, not the last 4 digits of your credit card. There is also no name on the receipt – it will be listed as “Contactless”. This way if you drop a receipt and someone picks it up there is no way you can be identified. It has no personal information on it. If you use Apple Pay check it out the next time you buy something using it.

Not having to take may card out of my wallet, no Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on the receipt...... added privacy and security – good stuff!