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Only 6% of iPhone users actually use Apple Pay as their main payment option in stores

The future is… apathetic?

apple pay on iphone
Image: Unsplash

Seven years ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage and introduced Apple Pay to the world. It was to be a revolutionary system for replacing bulky physical wallets and making in-store checkouts seamless. It was peak Apple, selling an ecosystem that you’ll never want to leave, but has it been successful?

Well, that really depends on how you look at it. Data from PYMNTS shows that only 6.1-percent of all customers that have Apple Pay activated on their iPhones use it in-store for purchases.

Maybe that’s down to legacy credit cards, which have added contactless options in the years since. Maybe it’s that consumers in the US still like physical cards with a magnetic stripe, rather than the more secure chip and pin system.

graph showing adoption rates of apple pay over time
Image: PYMTNS.com

Whatever the reasons, Apple Pay is still a success by any metric. It has 45.5-percent of the mobile wallet market and was responsible for an estimated $90 billion of in-store transactions in 2021. Adding Apple Card to the mix, over 5.5-percent of iPhone owners in the US also have an Apple Card, based on stats from May 2021.

That’s actually higher than the percentage of iPhone users that use Apple Pay in-store, so they must be using Apple Pay to pay for online purchases. That’s also my primary use of Apple Pay, as it makes online checkout seamless when I’ve found in-store contactless doesn’t always work.

PYMNTS thinks that Apple has two paths for Apple Pay: either take more market share from Android or get more iPhone users to use Apple Pay in-store. I think there’s a third way, and it’s to continue pushing Apple Pay as an online payment method. Consumers today are fluid in their purchasing habits, using online one day then in-store the next, and the pandemic changed purchasing habits to shift towards more online sales.

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