Is Apple Pay adding merchants quickly enough?

“We are optimistic about cashless payments generally and, in the past, have been enthusiastic about Apple Pay. However, our sense of Apple Pay is mixed at the moment,” Market View writes for Seeking Alpha. “As we monitor the page of retailers that accept Apple Pay, we are concerned that it’s not adding new merchants quickly enough.”

“Apple management has noted that ‘Apple Pay is growing… with more than five times the transaction volume of a year ago.’ Last month in Apple’s quarterly earnings call, management said that Apple Pay’s ‘estimated monthly active users (were) up more than 450% year on year’ the prior month,” Market View writes. “However, actual metrics are not disclosed and the growth is off a very low base. Services revenue, the category in which Apple Pay is recorded, grew 23% in the first half of fiscal 2016 to 10% of total revenue from 7%, but Apple Pay is just one component of Service revenue.”

“Maybe part of what we perceive as slowness in driving merchant integration is just the early stage of contactless payments in the U.S.,” Market View writes. “In fact, according to Digital Trends, Apple Pay dominates the domestic contactless payments market, accounting for “75 percent of all contactless payments in the U.S.,” but mobile wallets are a niche product at this early point. Domestically, only 0.2% of all in-store sales were paid for using smart devices in 2015, according to research firm eMarketer.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As retailers upgrade their antiquated POS infrastructure, we’re finding – anecdotally – Apple Pay to be more widely available. We’ve paid by Apple Watch more in the last two months than in the previous ten because the capability is now there at more places.

This is a marathon, not a sprint.

SEE ALSO:
The ultimate guide: How and where to use Apple Pay – August 29, 2016
Apple Pay rolls out to all Chick-Fil-A locations – August 17, 2016
Apple Pay and wannabes must offer perks to grow – December 14, 2015
Starbucks, KFC, and Chili’s to accept Apple Pay this year – October 8, 2015
Barclays to bring Apple Pay to the UK in early 2016 – October 7, 2015
Some Best Buy stores are now accepting Apple Pay – September 18, 2015
MCX CEO gone a day after Apple Pay lands Best Buy – April 28, 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

18 Comments

  1. I’ve recently used Apple Pay in the U.S. at Party City, Five Guys Burgers and Dash’s Market. None of these are listed on the Apple Pay page at Apple.com. However, searching for these retailers using Apple Maps shows that they do accept Apple Pay.

    Apparently the list of retailers accepting Apple Pay is growing faster than the web site page can be updated. However, it seems like the Map team is updating in a more timely manner.

  2. Here’s something I don’t understand. A lot of retailers have the VeriFone or other hardware to support Apple Pay, but it isn’t activated. I’ve been to Cub Foods, Micro Center, SuperAmerica, Casey’s, Dairy Queen, Lunds and Byerly’s, all of those places support Apple Pay. Holiday does not.

    1. Verifone is the hardware provider. Some of this hardware runs Verifone software, some of it runs the credit card processors software. Each processor has to certify the hardware with their system. This is why they are ready for EMV, but not processing EMV.

      1. I realize that, but I’m just curious why it’s taking some merchants so long to get set up with it.

        I use Apple Pay on a daily basis with all of the places I shop at.

  3. Kinda weird thing going on with Apple pay lately. It seems as soon as merchants install chip capable readers, now Apple pay requires your debit PIN, whereas before it never did. Kinda sucks, as now it takes pretty much the same time as swipe or chip transactions. The merchant in question here in So Cal is Sprouts Farmers markets, this happen to anybody else?

  4. It’s a function of marketing. Until Apple goes out into the media and shows people what Apple Pay is, uptake will remain low. Aside from the very few of us that check Apple-related websites, almost no one has heard of Apple Pay, or knows how to use it, and the banks and businesses that support it have to pay a percentage, so they’re not pushing it too hard.

    I use it where I can, and even at the same businesses that are set up for it (particularly McDonalds), they don’t remember how to use it each time I try, and I have to show it to them. And they all look at me like I just showed fire to the cavemen.

    Apple needs to market Apple Pay, if they want it to take off. Then again, I don’t think that’s a priority right now.

    1. I remember when Exxon/Mobil had their own NFC keychain fobs at the pump, where you bound it to a credit card and any of their pumps would accept it.

      Imagine using Apple Pay at the pump? No need to set foot into the store or use your card.

  5. I’ve started visiting major brand stores, making a small purchase, and asking if they take Apple Pay yet. When I’m told no I tell them of a competitor who does take Apple Pay, then tell them “I’ll check back in six months to see if you want my money. In the meantime I’ll keep spending my money in your competitor’s stores.” I usually ask for the manager and tell him/her the same thing.

    1. Meijer in my town started accepting Apple Pay on day 1 that it was available – despite the fact that they were part of the CurrentC consortium. Since that day, I have used Meijer more and more, while using Target, Lowes and Walmart less and less.

  6. I think the biggest problem is people don’t know it’s accepted. With so many new terminals and cards it is confusing trying to figure out if they accept it or not. Add to the complication that merchants can have terminals that show the tap and pay icon but they haven’t activated it and that makes it even more confusing. IMHO if a terminal has the tap and pay symbol it should have to be activated otherwise get a different terminal.

  7. I have notice the opposite trend in Canada. When Apple Pay fist became available here it worked in a lot of the stores I frequent. In the last few weeks they have suddenly stopped. Stores like Costco were the first place I ever used tap on my bank card and also Apple Pay but now both have stopped working.

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