Apple Pay makes considerable progress with more than 700,000 retail sites and growing

“In a January earnings call with investors, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook made a confident prediction: ‘2015 will be the year of Apple Pay,’ he said,” Nandita Bose reports for Reuters. “Since then, the company has aggressively courted retailers – and claimed significant success. ‘We’ve spoken to all of the top 100 merchants in the U.S., and about half will accept Apple Pay this year, with many more the following year,’ a company spokesperson recently told Reuters.”

“Analysts agree, Apple Pay’s market share has grown dramatically. ‘In the last six months or so there has been more acceptance of Apple Pay,’ said Steve Weinstein, senior internet analyst for ITG. ‘Google Wallet has kind of stalled out,'” Bose reports. “In January, Apple’s Cook, citing internal data, said Apple Pay accounted for two out of three dollars spent in “contactless payments,” but the company did not provide data to back up those numbers. Still, it is clear Apple Pay has made considerable progress in signing up vendors, with more than 700,000 sites as of March 9, the last time Apple updated its numbers, including self-service terminals such as vending machines, laundromats and parking meters.”

“Interviews with retailers suggest that the company has relied on aggressive marketing to recruit participants,” Bose reports. “‘They have been pushing hard and it’s been that way for months,’ said the representative of one large retailer that has no plans to accept Apple Pay. ‘They have called and tried to persuade us even after we communicated our decision to them.’ The company hasn’t adopted Apple Pay, he said, because not even a ‘small percentage’ of its customers have asked for it.”

MacDailyNews Take: That’s likely a lie. We’d bet that “large retailer” is part of Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a backer of the convoluted and archaic QR-based CurrentC which is being steamrolled unmercifully by Apple Pay.

“Many companies that accept Apple Pay report that they and their customers are happy with it. Whole Foods spokesman Michael Silverman said that Apple Pay transactions accounted for 2 percent of its sales dollars as of March and that it expects use to rise,” Bose reports. “‘Our shoppers are really enjoying the speed, convenience and security of Apple Pay,’ he said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Which neatly refutes what the previous anonymous “large retailer” claimed.

“For 28 of the retailers surveyed by Reuters, lack of access to data about customers and their buying habits is a key reason they don’t accept Apple Pay. ‘One of the biggest concerns is data control,’ said Mario De Armas, senior director, international payments at the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.,” Bose reports. “When a credit card is swiped through a terminal, the retailer gets the name and card number, which when combined with publicly available demographic data like address, phone and email, helps retail chains send well-targeted promotions to customers. Wal-Mart and 18 of the other top retailers are part of a coalition challenging Apple Pay with a mobile wallet called CurrentC, which is scheduled to launch in mid-2015.”

“Retailers participating in CurrentC won’t be allowed to accept any other mobile wallet until 2016, according to a senior official at MCX, the company launching CurrentC. For that reason alone, 19 of the NRF’s top 100 retailers will not be able to accept Apple Pay before the end of the year, although three of them said they plan to accept Apple Pay by early 2016,” Bose reports. “Another reason cited for not accepting Apple Pay by retailers surveyed by Reuters was the cost of terminals and computer upgrades required to accept a mobile wallet. ‘What is the return on investment?’ asked Maureen Elworthy, director of treasury at Ahold USA, which runs supermarket chains like Stop&Shop, during a panel discussing Apple Pay at an industry conference. ‘The [return] is negative,’ she said. She told Reuters that Ahold USA does not plan to accept any wallets because they see it as an investment cost without immediate returns.”

MacDailyNews Take: The return, genius, is that you are offering the best customers – those with disposable income and the proven will to spend it (you are a retailer, are you not?) – their preferred way to pay. By the way, Maureen, as you should know and likely do: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover are implementing a liability shift for point of sale terminals in October 2015. You need to get real terminals anyway or you’ll be out of business in a week.

Also, Reuters‘ hit-piece (you need to read Reuters‘ full article and contrast it to ours to be reminded of how drastically “news” can be slanted to suit certain agendas) fails to note that Stop & Shop is a member of MCX that has disabled NFC readers in order to shut out Apple Pay because they back the archaic CurrentC, which isn’t even available, yet, if ever. For some inexplicable reason, Reuters failed to disclose this fact, doing a tremendous disservice to their readers. Remember this when you read other “news” from Reuters. Why was such an important fact not disclosed by Reuters? Could this “news” in fact be a PR plant intended to sway public opinion in a certain direction? Is the reporter and/or media outlet being manipulated or are they in cahoots? We ask ourselves those two questions about virtually every “news” item we read, listen to, or watch — Apple-related or not.

Reuters‘ headline for this piece, and we do mean “piece,” is “Exclusive: In ‘year of Apple Pay’, many top retailers remain skeptical.” In the interest of accuracy, it should be: “Hit-piece: In ‘year of Apple Pay’, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) members claim to be skeptical, but have ulterior motives”

Bose reports, “Retailers face an October deadline to upgrade their credit card terminals to accept cards with microchips, and the new terminals will typically also support contactless payments such as Apple Pay.”

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, look, Reuters reported a fact amidst the spin. Miracles do happen.

“Apple declined to comment on the cost to retailers of accepting Apple Pay but referred Reuters to Ian Drysdale, Executive Vice-President at payment processor Elavon, which works with Apple,” Bose reports. “‘As long as the retailer is upgrading to the new payment terminals, which are enabled with contactless payment technology, there is very little additional cost to accept Apple Pay,’ he said.”

MacDailyNews Take: So, to recap: Stop & Shop’s mouthpiece claims what she claims, Reuters fails (miserably, yet transparently) to disclose that she works for an MCX member (who likely already has the technology in place, but has turned it off in order to hinder their best customers so they can force them onto an archaic system designed to allow Stop & Shop to collect their shoppers’ personal data), but, in reality, “there is very little additional cost to accept Apple Pay” and every retailer who wants to remain in business (continue to accept credit cards) has upgrade their systems by this October anyway.

The full article (tucked safely behind donotlink) – check it out to see the slant applied by Reutershere.

MacDailyNews Take: Question everything you see, hear, and read.

Apple Pay is likely to get a reward program to be announced at WWDC 2015. Therefore, this is likely a preemptive strike, however ham-handed and feeble it may be, by what’s left of MCX with or without the knowledge of the Reuters personnel responsible (busy media outlets can be duped by PR people who drop “news” in their lap, all neatly packaged and ready-to-go).

If your retailer doesn’t accept Apple Pay, demand that they do or take your business elsewhere. We’ve already dumped CVS (which is blocking Apple Pay, even though they have the technology) for Walgreens (happily accepts Apple Pay) over this. (Best Buy has already capitulated to the demand for Apple Pay.) If the retailer starts talking about MCX’s CurrentC, you’ll immediately know they’re only looking to scoop up your personal data.

This is the year of Apple Pay.


Apple Pay stands to gain from MCX’s CurrentC disarray – May 18, 2015
Apple Pay is destroying MCX’s CurrentC – May 11, 2015
Best Buy capitulates, to accept Apple Pay despite CurrentC allegiance – April 27, 2015
Major retailers see Apple Pay wave – November 17, 2014
In only 3 weeks, Apple Pay is changing how consumers pay – November 17, 2014
Boycott CVS and Rite Aid – October 27, 2014
Bad business: CVS and Rite Aid antagonize their most well-heeled customers by blocking Apple Pay – October 27, 2014
CVS stores reportedly disabling NFC to shut down Apple Pay – October 25, 2014
iPhone users earn significantly more than those who settle for Android phones – October 8, 2014
Yet more proof that Android is for poor people – June 27, 2014
More proof that Android is for poor people – May 13, 2014
Apple’s iOS dominates in richer countries, Android in poorer regions – March 25, 2014
Twitter heat map shows iPhone use by the affluent, Android by the poor – June 20, 2013
iPhone users smarter, richer than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Yankee Group: Apple iPhone owners shop more, buy more, remain more loyal vs. other device users – July 20, 2010


  1. To be fair, if only 2% of Whole Foods sales used Apple Pay, even with it rising it’s not impossible that a retailer might not yet have seen significant demand for it. I doubt a large percentage of Whole Foods customers was clamouring for it but has just not bothered using it.

    This is not to say all the other MDN points aren’t valid and that Apple Pay isn’t a great option.

  2. MEIJER accepts Apple Pay, despite also being in the CurrentC consortium. Meijer is now where I do roughly 90% of my shopping – I rarely set foot in Target or Walmart since Apple Pay went live.

    Used Apple Pay on my Apple Watch the other day at Meijer checkout, and the cashier said “So you’re the dude with the watch that pays for stuff …” People in Monroe Michigan think I’m the man from the future running around paying for stuff at Meijer, Meijer GAs Station, BP, Staples, Subway and Walgreens with my Watch!

    1. Every time I have used my Apple Watch to pay for something at Subway, the person working the register was astonished and delighted. They always get a big smile on their face and ask a bunch of questions.

  3. On the other end of the retailers spectrum are all the small businesses that are clueless about accepting Pay. I had to personally call a small restaurant chain’s Bank of America merchant services to find out they are Pay ready although the owner was unaware because the local BofA employee didn’t tell him about Pay because “he didn’t think it was host big a deal”. Then I had to call the owner of the 7 restaurant local chain to tell him that and get him to train his employees to accept Pay. Then even though I gave the owner the free promotional kits toll free number for Pay kits, he failed to deploy signs. So I wound up having to use a kit I had gotten from Apple to put up all the Pay signs in the restaurant I eat at. No telling if any signs are up at any of the other 6 restaurants throughout our Santa Cruz County CA.💥😱😁😖

        1. will do !-)
          I wonder if the other Vaillarta’s have gotten with the program

          I don’t think Morenos will follow suit, but hope so….. best burritos in town for sure


  4. I lived in Japan for over 25 years and going back even 25 years ago, many small chain retailers such as 7-11 (remember them here?) and other convenience stores (as well as other types) recorded daily sales, weekly trends weekly and seasonal trends, what sold and what didn’t – for specific locations.

    They were and are good at it. They don’t need the customer’s information to know what and how much to provide and stock.

    There were and are stores that attract people to become “members,” and they give minimum discounts for that. They track the sales and customers.

    IN the end, the convenience store system seems just as suitable at targeting and providing goods as the ones that track individuals. Our retailers should do the same.

    Tracking individuals for targeted sales is psychologically manipulative. And many people don’t seem to mind!

  5. I love MDN’s take, “Question everything you see, hear, and read.” especially coming from the land of free speech where you get to hear see and read so many interesting and diverse opinions from the MDN community. It’s heart warming to see a place that so staunchly defends free speech even though I’ve read, heard and seen some disagreement it’s the diverse atmosphere the rich exchange of ideas that makes MDN truly great.

    That and the wonderful MDN community.

    It’s simple just like ApplePay.

  6. I wanted a sub from Jersey Mike’s, but when I pulled into the parking lot I realized I forgot my wallet at home. So I went to Subway instead because they take ApplePay. Jersey Mike’s lost the sale because they don’t take contactless payments yet. (Although Jersey Mike’s is listed as “Coming Soon” on Apple’s ApplePay page.)

  7. I was delighted to discover that the vending machines on the Washington State Ferries and ferry terminals accept Apple Pay. No decal indicates this, though.

    We need to get Apple Pay stickers and start labeling the pos terminals we discover that are unlabeled!

  8. I live in New Zealand, a backwater where most retailers have never even heard of ApplePay and Apple appears to have no early plans to introduce it.

    A suggestion for those of you who live in America and would prefer your favorite retailer to adopt ApplePay: Go to one of their stores, grab a load of stuff (that you secretly don’t even want), take it to the checkout and ask about ApplePay. If you are unsatisfied with the answer, just dump your “purchases” at the checkout and walk off in a huff. If enough of you do that, the retailers will soon get the message. They must waste considerably more time than you just did, putting their stock back where it came from.

  9. I’ve been to a couple of Subways where employees didn’t know how to use their equipment. Had to leave the completed sandwich on the counter.
    Question: is The Home Depot onboard? Our local store’s terminal has that identifiable logo. My iPhone 6 can’t make the transaction happen. Curious.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.