So far, Tim Cook’s ‘Year of Apple Pay’ has been rather underwhelming

“Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has called 2015 the ‘year of Apple Pay,'” Olga Kharif reports for Bloomberg. “So far it’s been underwhelming. The mobile-payments system, which marks its one-year anniversary this month, has failed to catch on with consumers, accounting for only 1 percent of all retail transactions in the U.S., according to researcher Aite Group. ‘People don’t know why it is they’d use Apple Pay,’ said Jared Schrieber, CEO of InfoScout, a shopper-research firm. ‘They are satisfied with the current methods and they don’t know how Apple Pay works.'”

“More than 75 percent of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users hadn’t tried the service as of April, according to a Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. In June, 13 percent of 1,500 people surveyedby InfoScout and said they tried Apple Pay,” Kharif reports. “A more recent, smaller survey of 500 iPhone users published in July by Auriemma Consulting Group did find that 42 percent of the respondents used it for in-app and in-store purchases. ‘We’re off to a great start and we are seeing continued, double-digit monthly growth in Apple Pay transactions since launch,’ Apple said in an e-mailed statement. ‘It’s going to grow reasonably slowly for the next three to five years, and then we are going to see a ‘hockey stick,” a sudden surge, said Thad Peterson, an analyst at Boston, Massachusetts-based Aite,” Kharif reports. “”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Counterfeit Card Liability Shift just went into effect on October 1st. Now the retailer that has made investment in EMV deployment is protected from financial liability for card-present counterfeit fraud losses. Let’s give it some time now to sink in with the hoi polloi. In addition, as more Apple Pay-compliant devices roll out, Apple Pay adoption will naturally increase.

And, by the way, 1 percent of all retail transactions in the U.S. and growing is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

That said, if Apple were interested in really promoting the use of Apple Pay, they could – gasp! – incentivize its use. As we wrote in August:

Apple, give us a reason to use Apple Pay beyond looking like tech dorks 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. Until my bank gives me a debit card that can be added to Apple Pay, I won’t be using it. It isn’t for lack of interest. It is just not practical to use for our family at this time.

    1. I have four accounts that can be added to Apple Pay. Three of those accounts also have secure chips in the cards. The hold out account, most likely will never get Apple Pay, and it’s the only card I never use.

      I went to Rite Aid recently and used Apple Pay. The clerks were happy and excited about it.

  2. The problem with Apple Pay is not completely with Apple.

    I request Apple Pay with every vendor I come across. Many don’t even know what Apple Pay is. And again this is not Apple’s fault. I will switch gears, I ask about Google Pay, to the same blank stares. Again, switching gears. I pull out my credit card and show them the contacts, the secure chip. I point to that and say, what about this? They again have blank stares.

    The point is, vendors have no clue about payment systems. They have a difficult time, as it is, getting used to what they have, the swipe and pay. They are going to have a cold awakening, once they start picking up the tab for fraudulent transactions. The problem being though, I don’t want to be that victim either.

    Sometimes, I think they simply don’t care.

    One thing Apple can do, is let iPhones take Apple Pay, as a default action. No tools required just bring the phones together and process the transaction. Include this with iPads, and you have an instant POS system, which you do find in a lot of new, hip retailers, which implement Square or other merchant tools.

    1. Every time I make a small purchase at a store that doesn’t accept ApplePay I make sure to tell the manager “You’re being left behind by not accepting ApplePay. I take most of my business to the most up-to-date stores, and right now that isn’t you.”

      I then show them a large dollar amount (several hundred dollars) receipt which was paid with ApplePay to emphasize my point, and tell them “This could have been your store, but won’t ever be unless you accept ApplePay.”

      1. The showing of a large receipt probably won’t faze them unless it is for a competitor.. e.g. showing a large restaurant bill to a grocery store employee would probably just get you a shrug.

        1. I have receipts for restaurants (2 in my area have NFC which works), grocery stores (BiLo), pharmacies (Walgreen), building supply stores (Home Depot when they briefly activated NFC), and big box stores (Target online). I show the appropriate one.

    2. Paradigm shifts do not occur overnight. Those expecting ANY mobile pay platform to be ubiquitous after just one year are ignorant of how paradigm shifts evolve, and Apple Pay is a paradigm shift.

      Come back in 3 – 5 years and let’s look at payment methods then. Today’s Apple Pay critics will be the same ones questioning why consumers still use physical credit cards.

      1. Agree. 1% of all US retail transactions …in 12 months? Using revolutionary new technology that will take time to infiltrate the population. And which is in the early phase of the process of being rolled out in other countries, too? And with no competitor in sight? HUGE ! Give it a few years.

    3. As I have posted before, my retail store had to pay for every fraudulent transaction that went thru my point-of-sale system. I see no advantage to retailers for changing systems except their merchant account fees will be increased for not having the latest.

      Used it at Wegmans. Rather use a card. Oh, BTW, consumers do not benefit either as they are not responsible for fraudulent transactions, either. Neither is the crook.

      In my area McDonald’s has the equipment but they don’t know how to use it yet.

      Wegmans and McDonalds. Big deal.

  3. Being launched in the US prior to widespread replacement of old swipe terminals with NFC/chip and PIN terminals must have a lot to do with this. We should have a better idea of adoption rate ‘potential’ from the UK numbers and pending Canadian launch in November.

  4. well not everyone has iPhone 6 – I just got 6s- so I haven’t used it. but also have no idea how it really works. And Apple hasn’t done a great job of communicating that . On top of that not every store accepts it

      1. Nice link. Now to get that to the attention of potential Apple Pay users since I suspect everyone here that wants to use it are already doing so.. Does anyone know if Apple now includes a slip or some info for the above link in their packaging for new iPhones?

  5. Forget about incentivizing “us” to use Apple pay….I would use it for each and every transaction everywhere and anywhere it is accepted. Apple Pay can replace using credit cards and cash in 90% of all transactions in my life….if there were vendors who accepted it. Apple should create incentives for stores to use Apple Pay and the customers will follow. I want to use it all the time but simply can’t.

  6. Two weeks ago, Discover Card started accepting ApplePay. Last week, I replaced my 5S with 6S (painless overnight shipping on the day of the order by T-Mobile — black 16GB). Immediately enrolled my Discover cart (and three other that accept it, for stores that don’t accept Discover).

    Apple Pay is definitely more convenient to use than cards. I made six transactions over the weekend and they saved perhaps 10 seconds each (getting the wallet, pulling the card out, swiping it, or inserting into chip reader, putting it back in the wallet, putting the wallet in the pocket). In addition, paying with the phone is a single-hand affair. My phone is in my left outside pocket. While pulling it out, I double-press on the home button, which sets up the ApplePay with my default card. While I’m positioning phone near the reader, I place the finger on the TouchID sensor and unlock Apple Pay. By the time the phone gets to the terminal, ApplePay is already unlocked and ready for the transaction. Whole Foods and Trader Joe were effortless and smooth. Walgreens — not so much; the clerk kept standing and waiting for something after the payment was confirmed. The transaction receipt didn’t automatically print, so she reset the PoS device and I did it again; still no receipt, so I dug for my wallet and pulled out the card, to insert in the chip reader, after which the receipt got printed. Walking out of the store, I opened my Discover card app, only to find out three pending transactions of the same amount at Walgreens. Now I know for the next time…

  7. As for motivation to get people to use it, in my case, it was Discover card’s 10% cashback offer. I wouldn’t have upgraded my 5s (baby needs new shoes, as they say, so daddy’s phone is last priority), but with the 10% cashback, I could justify it — in the next three months, I should get enough cashback on this offer to make up the difference between what I get for my 5S and what I’ll end up paying (over 2 years) for 6S ($650, interest-free loan from T-Mobile).

Reader Feedback

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