Apple Pay usage declines precipitously

PYMNTS has been tracking Apple Pay adoption in conjunction with InfoScout, a retail data analytics firm that tracks consumer trends across merchants using receipt data,” PYMNTS reports. “The first round of figures came in as part of the post-Black Friday shopping post mortem – and the results were less than stellar for Apple Pay – when 91 percent of Apple Pay eligible customers (consumers in a store that accepted the service with a device capable of using it) had never so much as tried the service. The situation had improved somewhat six months later… The number of users that had at least tried Apple Pay had climbed to 15 percent.”

“In March, survey data indicated that 15.1 percent of eligible Apple Pay users had tried the service – when surveyed in June 2015 that had fallen to 13.1 percen,” PYMNTS reports. “Usage fell as well – when asked in March, ‘Did you use Apple Pay on this transaction,’ 39.3 percent of consumers said yes. When asked the same question in June, only 23 percent replied in the affirmative.”

“But here’s the killer stat. Apple Pay also seems to have seen a dip in its committed users,” PYMNTS reports. “In March, 48 percent of iPhone 6 consumers in a store where they could use Apple Pay did. In June, that number had dropped to 33 percent. “People don’t understand why it is they would go about using Apple Pay, they are fine with what they have. And they are not familiar with how they would use Apple Pay if they wanted to,” InfoScout Co-Founder and CEO Jared Schrieber noted.”

“Chris Gardner, CEO of Paydiant, a mobile payments platform which was recently acquired by PayPal, noted that while he likes Apple Pay and finds it to perform as advertised, he thinks that the market has to learn that launching mobile payments isn’t really just about the payment, which he described as ‘the domain of nerds,'” PYMNTS reports. “”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple, give us a reason to use Apple Pay beyond looking like tech dorks in front of the line at the register. What’s the incentive to use Apple Pay? There is none besides looking like a flaming nerd. As if Apple doesn’t have any money. That, inexplicably, is how they approach Apple Pay. Hello, Tim? Eddy? Talk to some people who actually go to stores and shop for things, please.

Incentivize its use! Give Apple Pay users a percentage of every dollar spent via Apple Pay to spend at Apple Stores. Something. Anything! Get people used to using it first. Sheesh. It’s really not that difficult. It really isn’t.


  1. Eddy Cue strikes again.

    Hey, Eddy, how are those Apple TV content deals coming? How many decades are you going to take?

    100+ countries and you could only get a measly 11 million Apple Music users to sign up for a free – repeat FREE – trial? Brilliant work! Here, have another million Apple RSUs!

    Apple shareholders should be asking: What exactly does Eddy Cue do that’s supposedly worth millions of dollars to Apple Inc.? Fsck up with consistency while looking stupid? Has Eddy ever done anything positive without Steve Jobs around to hold his hand and make sure it actually gets done and gets done right?

    Time for an example to be made, Tim: Fire Eddy Cue.

    He won’t be missed.

    1. In what planet is 11 million users in 5 weeks is bad?
      Only in AAPL Shareholder’s planet I guess.

      I’m willing to bet many users dismissed the Apple Music dialog without even reading it was a free trial. They’ll be back but it takes time.

      1. If all 11 Million current users of Apple Music become paying subscribers, Apple Music’s GROSS REVENUE will equal that of Spotify

        Of course, not all will become paying subscribers, but then Apple Music has only been available for a few months, unlike Spotify that has been available for almost 4 years.

        Gif how I wish posters had to take a literacy test before being allowed to post.

        PS., you’ll be able to see how many fit in this category of illiterate posters by the voting that follows my post.

      1. I’ve held out on Apple Music, because $120/year on music is $110 more than what I pay already. It’s not that I don’t like Apple Music, I just don’t want to commit that kind of funding to music, especially if I never get to own it. I am trying Sirius Radio, for free. However, I don’t find it compelling to pay for the service either. Also I don’t subscribe to Pandora or Spotify.

        I listen to pod casts, and if anything has acceptable value, it’s the $25/year for Music Match that has me more interested.

        I find Beats 1 far more interesting than the rest. Now since talk of other Beats stations, I am a bit excited about that.

        1. Massive Apple fan here wondering what the blank has happened to Apple’s leadership in tech???
          Of course Apple Pay is floundering, it solved no pressing problem and does not work half the time.
          It’s not alone. A trained monkey could have predicted that the iPhone needed a bigger screen. Every single time a feature is mentioned for the iPhone some ‘android’ wanker says, “yep, had that for 2 years now.”
          iTunes is a steaming pile and is getting worse, ‘Music’ adds another layer of confusion, every update to iWork pulls features, but still lacks feature parity with iOS, iPad sales are crashing and burning and Cook dare not tell anyone that Watch sales have collapsed after the botched launch.
          Who’s wondering why APPL has tanked?
          Apple was the mainstay of creative pros, but the shockingly awesome Mac Pro has not been touched since its launch and Apple acts as if it does not exist. It took 6 months from announcement for it to get off the ground, and now pros are asking why 2 years have passed since an update.
          This latest oddball IBM teamup *I guarantee* is going to end horribly once office people find out just how flaky (to say nothing of sloooow) Apple’s online services are.
          iCal that.

          Does anyone get my issue here?
          We’re riding the Jobs wave still and his replacement has the charm and charisma of a walnut. Steve should have left a man in charge.

          1. I disagree, in that it does solve the “hacking” problem, which is huge.

            The problem with Apple Pay, it’s the vendors. Some have since turned it off, Home Depot. One of our grocery stores has it enabled at one location, but off at another. I use Apple Pay, every chance I get. People are still amazed to see it in action, unwitting vendors.

            Apple Pay will get more traction, if the iPhone can accept Apple Pay payments. Transfer money, form phone to phone, without a dongle.

          2. “Massive Apple fan but…” is just so overused by fierce Apple trolls. Really guys you need some freshening up, getting a bit stale.

            The Mac Pro is a niche product and hardly relevant to AAPL’s bottomline -and thus stock price – I mean look at NASA engineering they all use Macbook Pros.

            Question is do you want Apple to please a 1% segment of “creative pros” with niche products as did they back in the early 90s or the much larger engineering and professional market – and 99% of the creative market.

            Also if you think IBM teamup has to do with Apple’s online services you’re seriously confused. IBM has their own online services, like Watson, – which they want to promote and support really well on Apple’s OS and hardware.

    1. that makes no sense, all transactions are digitally’s a matter of mathematics not methodology or conjecture. They should know to the penny how often and to what amount of money is used in ApplePay transactions.

      1. Since Apple Pay gets a fraction of each transaction the banks should be fully aware of how well Apple Pay is doing compared to their physical credit and debit cards.

  2. I think a little advertising might help, as well. I always ask the cashier if they take Apple Pay, especially when I see a new NFC reader attached to the register.

    I suspect some people are just growing weary of asking. Apple doesn’t appear to be providing any assistance or incentive to using it. I use it whenever I can, but if Apple wants it to become ubiquitous, it needs to exert the extra push to increase its visibility and benefits to the customer. Ads should help.

    1. Agreed..Half the issue is just seeing whether AP works at a given store. Even if the NFC reader has the wireless payment symbol on it, they are many times turned off or blocking wireless payments–the AP transaction will come back declined after accepting it..and THEN when a store has AP signs everywhere, the cashiers are completely unaware of AP and look at you like you have 7 nipples when try to use it. Ridiculous.

    2. Training would also be a great help. I was outside Indianapolis and stopped at a White Castle drive-through which had Apple Pay stickers on all their windows. I ask the cashier to use Apple Pay and she said she didn’t know how to use it, please use cash or a credit card.

    1. What I don’t like is the Apple Pay transaction is supposed to be easy but if you use a Debit card you still have to enter a pin number thus saving no time. Only using a normal credit card does it work the way it’s supposed to.

          1. Any NFC payment system that continues to require other forms of verification when fingerprint is available needs to go do a bit more work to remove the inconvenience.

    2. Yeah, I’m baffled by the naysayers here. I never, NEVER, use a credit card if Apple Pay is available. Why would I want to bother with digging my credit card out of my wallet when I can just pay with my phone, which I probably have out anyway while I’m waiting in line?


  3. I would say one issue is so many businesses aren’t putting any effort into making Apple Pay the good easy experience it can be. It has the potential to make the checkout process fast, easy, secure. Their staff doesn’t know they have it and they often make you sign or put in a PIN even when you shouldn’t need to. Hopefully Apple takes action to get their partners on the ball.

    1. You are 100% correct. Try using it at Home Depot (which accepts Apple Pay) and it won’t work. I asked a cashier and she said it stopped working immediately after they started accepting it.

      1. From Apple’s Apple Pay Support page: “Some stores might have this symbol on their card readers and point of sale terminals, but they might not be currently set up to accept contactless payments, including Apple Pay. At the current time, this includes 7-Eleven, Home Depot, Jack in the Box, Rite Aid, and CVS. If you can’t use Apple Pay at a store that is displaying the contactless payment symbol, please let us know using our Apple Pay feedback form.”

        I know Home Depot is still preparing the back end for these readers and announced that a few weeks ago. Their old readers did work, but the new ones still need to be programmed from what I understand.

        1. It is entirely possible those outlets are trying out the chip-in-card systems. All my physical cards have been reissued with those embedded chips that tokenize the transaction similar to how Apple Pay makes their transactions secure.

    2. I imagine the effort Apple may have to put in possibly include specially training some Apple Store employees and then go out to visit retailers that supposedly support ApplePay that have been reported to Apple by customers and conduct some kind of training or assessment of the retailer. Might result in a special ApplePay sticker for being ‘verified’ by Apple for ApplePay compliance. 😀

  4. Actually the biggest battle is fighting with pre-historical retail systems, so it’s really very difficult.

    For example here in the UK I still can’t pay for anything over £20 using Apple Pay in most shops, even Apple Pay partners.

    It’s bad experience to go and try Apple Pay for something only to be told I can’t use it as it’s over the limit. It puts users off even when using it for lower amounts.

    I don’t think giving away money to users would change anything, Google tried that – several times – with Wallet and it never caught on. Not to mention it would be a terrible business decision for Apple to give money away on a service they barely make any back.

    What Apple needs to do is work WITH STORES to incentivise its use as much as possible. Get rid of the limits, get it in front of people, make it super easy to use by placing readers with easy reach.

    1. …”here in the UK I still can’t pay for anything over £20 using Apple Pay in most shops…”

      The key, in this instance, may be WHY is there a £20 limit? And who imposed that limit?

      Not Apple.

  5. Read the fine print. looks very much like they are controlled by rival mechanisms currently or soon to be released. I take very few such “reports” to not be promoted by self-interest.

  6. One big issue is Apple’s way to do ads. They mostly mean nothing, explain nothing, don’t call for any action, they are just hot air.

    Bring back funny, cools ads like “I am a Mac” and so much more. Explain people (in a fun way!), how and why to use Apple Pay and Apple Music and why to switch from a PC to a Mac, and so on.

    And finally, stop to call everything “Apple Whatsoever”, you are not Microsoft who do this all the time. The shy “i” in front of everything was much cooler than the big “Apple”.

    1. Good post. But, with respect to the “Apple Whatsoever,” I don’t know that Apple has a lot of options. Apple is a global brand and, as the Apple iName approach became well-known, opportunists started locking up potential iNames across the world.

      The situation began getting difficult for Apple by 2007. In some countries, Apple had to pay to get control of the iPhone brand name. The easiest way to avoid that problem is to attach the company name to the product/function. It is easy to defend the company name, and it maintains distinctiveness even when people attempt to closely copy a brand (e.g., iPhone –> MiPhone).

      I do not see appending “Apple” to devices/functions as being Microsoftian. Do you feel the same way about Google?

    2. “Bring back funny, cools ads like “I am a Mac” and so much more. Explain people (in a fun way!), how and why to use Apple Pay and Apple Music and why to switch from a PC to a Mac, and so on.”

      I can just see this…

      “Hello. I’m money.”
      “I’m ApplePay.”
      “I’m a credit card.”
      “I’m a checkbook.”
      “aaaand… I’m CurrentC.”

  7. Tim Cook has driven straight people away from Apple. That leaves Apple Pay to be used by about 2% of the world’s population. If Tim would just stop insulting most of his customer base, and stop trying to fix the weather, maybe more people would try Apple Pay, and Apple Watch, etc.

    1. No. You are wrong. Cook has mocked all Christians for their faith. He has put Apple on attack against Christianity and all religions that have for thousands of years defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Tim Cook has made Apple into an LGBT company that does not want the business of Christians and he has even discouraged conservatives from owning the stock. This is a fact.

  8. Holy mackerel, MDN! What an about-face!

    When Apple Pay launched, you extolled its simplicity and security and indicated that these factors would drive adoption by consumers. Now, you appear to be demanding an incentive (bribe) to use Apple Pay.

    Did Apple give people a kick-back when they bought an iPod, an iPhone, or an iPad? No. People bought those devices because they offered value. Similarly, people began using iTunes because they could consolidate their music in one tool and easily access reasonably priced music online. Apple does offer some weekly freebies on iTunes, but they are not typically all that great.

    Sure, Apple can afford to offer Apple Pay rebates, and they might decide to offer some type of affinity incentives. But I find it rather hypocritical that MDN is using the “Apple can afford it” argument that MDN disparages when used by others.

    1. If this report is revealed to be a variant of anti-Apple Pay FUD, which I suspect, MDN may backtrack on their backtracking. But maybe not, because MDN have used just about any available handle to scarify Apple’s promotional efforts; it’s become their hobby horse.

  9. Incentive? Are you kidding? Having your thumb print secure the deal isn’t reason enough to use it? No one bats an eye in NYC when I pay with my phone, so maybe it’s a suburb hang-up.

    1. The odd thing is that Apple Pay usage dropped despite Apple Pay enabling Apple Watches and iPhones continuing to sell in good numbers.. Is there any Apple Pay note in the packaging to inform those Apple Watches and iPhones users that may somehow be unaware when they bought the device?

  10. Mine doesn’t work as well as it used to. I wonder if that has anything to do with it. I have to make a couple attempts now whereas before it was like instant every time. I wonder if there’s something wrong with the NFC antenna or chip in my iPhone? I have the same clear, razor thin Spigen case as I did before when it worked great.

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