Twint: We're better than Apple Pay! (But we don't want to prove it)

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Apple has announced Apple Pay in Switzerland and PostFinance has decided to pretend it doesn’t exist. PostFinance-issued credit card won’t work with Apple Pay. That’s how things work out, after all: if you just put your head into the sand long enough, things will go away on their own.1

Instead, they want to push people to use Twint, their own mobile payment solution. That’s fine. Why not.

I have the app installed on my phone. I have everything set up. I have tried to use it four times so far. Here’s what’s happened.


The first time, right during checkout, I noticed that I lost signal. No more connection to the cloud. And sure enough, a dire sounding warning pops up and tells me that I lost signal. I can complete the purchase anyhow, hoping the payment would somehow still go through and I wouldn’t be accidentally charged twice. It wasn’t. Lucky me. It was not exactly a very smooth experience, but, as it happens, the smoothest of all my experiences so far.


The second time it was in the local PostFinance branch office. They had a campaign running to show their customers how nice and convenient Twint is (supposed to be). I had time to indulge them.

I needed time. After plugging the beacon out and back in for the fifth time, since my phone wouldn’t recognise it, they rebooted their Surface tablet. After several additional unsuccessful attempts, they handed me a voucher.

In paper form.



The third and fourth time just happened yesterday. At lunch, I was at Coop to Go. The self-checkout terminals have a bright green Twint sticker. Problem was: Twint wouldn’t show up as a payment option during the checkout process. Maybe a fluke? So I tried this evening at my local Coop.

And look at that:

Big green sticker, but it just won’t work. So maybe Coop disabled it nation wide because they can’t be bothered to do tech support for PostFinance?

So does Twint work? I can’t say, really, because I was never able to use it properly.


Whenever I wanted to buy something in the cases above, Apple Pay would have worked just fine, since it uses a technology that’s already in use by all contactless credit cards. The hardware would be already installed in most Swiss stores.3

Convenience would be greatly enhanced, since you don’t have to hunt down an obscure app in the second page of a folder somewhere on your fifth home screen – a double tap on the home button is enough to conjure up Apple Pay.

Apple Pay would – as opposed to Twint – actually work abroad. Yes, dear PostFinance, the world doesn’t end at the Swiss border! (*gasp*)

And – the interface of Apple Pay is actually designed by people who know what they’re doing.

Twint, however, is so intent on being fresh and innovative that they throw out any UX convention out of the window and reinvent them, just for their own app.

Because, why would you place the back button where EVERY OTHER APP HAS PLACED IT? Surely that’s entirely unnecessary. Let the user hunt it down every single time. It’s fun, they said!

Obscure content by overlaying it with other content!

Make buttons look like static, non-interactive content!



And with this product, PostFinance plans to convince people not to use Apple Pay.

Sure, Apple doesn’t allow third-party apps to use the NFC chip.

But, dear PostFinance, if you’re so bloody damn sure that your product is still superior, as you claim to be – why not just let the consumer decide? Free market, and all that, you know?

Obviously, if your claim is valid, people would forego Apple Pay for Twint.

After all, in what other app could I store the numbers of a few select customer loyalty cards?4 What other app gives me even more adver–– sorry, “offers” than I already have? What other app only works a fraction of the time and doesn’t instil a sense of reliability, that, given the fact that it handles my money, might be beneficial?

I assure you, nothing else comes to mind.

Twint will be a success. No need to fret about the few people using Apple Pay.

  1. Or they’ll eat you. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ↩︎

  2. Pro tip: When demoing your products, make sure that they actually work. Or at least look convincingly enough like working. (There’s a reason why Apple uses pre-recorded footage during their keynotes). ↩︎

  3. In fact, Apple Pay already works all over Switzerland. If you have a credit card issuer from abroad, where Apple Pay has been introduced. ↩︎

  4. In the Apple Wallet app. ↩︎