Apple Watch owners vastly prefer Apple Watch to iPhone for Apple Pay

“This week the focus of our Wristly research is on Apple Pay,” Wristly’s Bernard Desarnauts reports via Medium. “Building on commentary from the noted Benedict Evans, we explore a fundamental question: is Apple Pay truly magical when using Apple Watch? And if so, will Apple Pay become one of the primary drivers of adoption and usage for the Watch?”

“Since Apple Pay is only available in the US and more recently in the UK, we only sent this week’s survey to the members of our ‘Inner Circle’ residing in these countries,” Desarnauts reports. “We still managed to get over 1,000 respondents… 80% are already using Apple Pay. What an incredible achievement in such a short amount of time — yes, 80% of Apple Watch owners who can, have already used Apple Pay. By comparison, the various surveys published in 2015 in the US assess Apple Pay usage level on iPhone 6 at around 15% to 20%.”

“When we analyze the 19% of Watch users (n=205) in the US who haven’t yet used Apple Pay, about 5% of that subset indicate that they ‘do not perceive a benefit,’ another 5% have ‘concerns about the security of it’ and about 15% state that their ‘payment needs are being met’ already,” Desarnauts reports. “This implies that as many as 25% (5% + 5% + 15%) of the ‘non-users’ may never be interested in using Apple Pay at all. We can then multiply this 25% by the 19% of ‘non-users,’ with the result that only about 5% of Apple Watch users are unlikely to use Apple Pay. Stated differently, our data suggests that Apple Pay on the Watch could eventually reach an adoption rate as high as 95%.”

“Additionally, 29% of these non-users report that one of the primary reasons they haven’t yet used Apple Pay is simply the fact that their card issuer doesn’t currently support it! Our research indicates that interest in Apple Pay is high and suggests many more will use the service when their bank supports it,” Desarnauts reports. “While slightly more than half of our users already find Apple Pay ‘magical’ on the Watch, another 42% would characterize it as ‘convenient.’ Only 4% of users find it “not that useful” and another 3% have other concerns about using Apple Pay.

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Pay with Apple Watch is seamless and, yes, magical. As with many things that Apple Watch does well, Apple Pay is simply more cumbersome when using the iPhone.


  1. Interesting. I have the opposite opinion of the author and MDN. 90% of the time when I am paying for something it involves standing in a line, so I already have my phone out. It’s not cumbersome at all for me to just place it by the reader. On the other hand, the Apple Watch has been simply awesome in the gym and during walks, where using the phone can definitely be cumbersome.

  2. folks behind me in line are astonished about the speed and convenience of Apple Pay. Then I briefly explain that the tokenized transaction is super-secure, and deprives the point of sale from disclosure of any private information. To the annoyance of their spouses, many of those who converse with me also indicate an intention to get an Apple Watch.

  3. Apple pay on the watch is great. But I still only have one store where I can use it.
    Need more vendors to support it and maybe a sign at the checkout to indicate where it is available.

    1. This is frustrating for me. Many places don’t have contactless payment at all but the ones that do, only one, Office Depot, has worked, (Apple Watch w iPhone 5s). Starbucks only works with their app, my local grocery (HEB) doesn’t take it, also Whataburger, Lowes, Home Depot, Costco, everywhere else I have tried, the only place where it has worked, for whatever reason, was Office Depot, and even there the checkout person was mostly clueless about it. I really wish Apple was doing more, and more visible, efforts to get merchants, at least chains, on board. Do whatever they can dto facilitate and even subsidize if necessary. Apple Pay is never going to get above noise-niche level if enough merchants don’t take it.

  4. As a new UK user with an iPhone 6, paying at the checkout is simply magical. It even works at my local convenience store where they don’t even advertise it! My phone is zipped back in my jacket pocket before anyone behind me has even seen what’s happening!

  5. Once I discovered that Apple Pay works without needing an iPhone in my pocket, I was all in. There’s a Panera at the end of my morning jog and a run-defeating bagel and cream cheese gets added straight to my hips. Love it!

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