Why Apple Pay is beating (and will continue to beat) Google in mobile payments

“In the most recent quarter, the Alphabet, Inc property [Android] controlled more than 80% of the global mobile operating system market,” Danny Vena writes for The Motley Fool. “You might be tempted to believe that the company would be able to leverage its massive installed base of devices into a commanding lead in the area of mobile payments. While that would be an easy conclusion to draw, it’s not actually the case.”

“Apple has emerged as the leader in the mobile payments space,” Vena writes. “Apple Pay’s acceptance at a significantly greater number of merchants appears to be paying off, and is likely the reason for Apple’s lead in the category.”

“Accenture Consulting indicates that…56% of consumers are aware of the technology and plan to use it in coming years. Millennials (those the report defines as being between the ages of 18 and 34) and mass affluents (those consumers with annual income of $100,000 or more after taxes) are pioneering the change to digital payments, with 35% of these groups regularly using their mobile phone to make online payments,” Vena writes. “This bodes well for Apple, as market research firm MBLM in its Brand Intimacy Report found that Apple is one of the most beloved brands among millennials. Finally, 73% of consumers trust their traditional credit card providers the most when considering mobile payments, which again bodes well for Apple Pay as it pairs with existing credit cards.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Slowly, but surely.

We still say Apple should give users a concrete reason or reasons to use Apple Pay by incentivizing it’s use in order to spur adoption and make it a “must-offer” for retailers.

As we’ve written many times, as recently as February: “There is no better way to pay than with Apple Watch and Apple Pay. Two simple things could turbocharge Apple Pay usage: Better (or actual) signage at the point of sale and incentives for using Apple Pay. Imagine Apple Pay usage if Apple simply offered $1 to spend at the Apple Store for every hundred spent via Apple Pay.”

As we wrote last August, imagine at the special media event to introduce the next-gen iPhone, Apple CEO Tim Cook said something like this:

And, of course, the new iPhone works with Apple Pay and, starting today, for every $100 you spend using Apple Pay, you get $1 off at Apple retail and online stores. So, spend $100 on groceries using Apple Pay, you get $1. Spend $300 on a plane ticket using the Delta app, you get $3. Use Apple Pay in your ExxonMobil Speedpass+ app to buy your gas. It all adds up! By the end of the year, you’ll likely have quite a discount on your next iPad, Mac, or iPhone!

Would you use Apple Pay more if Tim Cook said something like that? We know we certainly would. So would tens of millions more people than are using Apple Pay today.

As we wrote nearly two years ago in August 2015:

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.

We spent around $20 billion using Apple Pay in 2016 – April 5, 2017
Apple Pay promised to make plastic obsolete, but wary shoppers and confused clerks hinder adoption – April 5, 2017
Retail survey: Apple Pay now being accepted at more retailers than any other mobile payments service – February 22, 2017
Apple Pay transactions are growing at a rapid rate – November 30, 2016
Apple Pay messaging at point-of-sale drives 135% increase in mobile payments usage – November 21, 2016
Apple Pay at two years: Not much to celebrate – yet – October 20, 2016
What’s wrong with Apple Pay? – August 5, 2016
Apple Pay’s frequency of usage is putrid – August 3, 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


  1. Let’s see how long Apple’s lead in mobile payments lasts. Like everything else Apple has had a lead in and lost out in the long-term, I’m sure mobile payments will be no different. I feel certain Wall Street doesn’t believe it will last as long as Android remains the dominant mobile OS. iOS mobile share growth seems quite unlikely as long as there are far cheaper Android smartphones on the horizon. I hope Apple can figure out some way to keep the lead in mobile payments by having better security or rewards for use.

    $100 Android smartphones vs. $1000 Apple smartphones simply makes Android the easiest choice as the long-term winner of everything mobile. It’s really amusing how as Apple iPhones become more expensive, Android smartphones become that much less expensive. I wonder if such an inverse pricing exists in other industries.

    1. A recent report by PYMNTS.com claims Apple Pay though the most tried is actually not the most used payment system as of March 2017. That distinction goes to Samsung Pay.


      The report does however confirm that Android Pay is less used than Apple Pay. Should Samsung Galaxy 8 phones sell well they may take a commanding lead soon. As those on MDN keep requesting of Apple Pay, usage incentives may be a significant differentiating factor in Samsung Pay’s success. It also doesn’t hurt that Samsung Pay phones with the magnetic chip installed can use ANY POS terminal that may normally be limited to swiping.

    2. macnificentseven48, you have a reasonable point regarding the difference between an early lead and winning out in the long term. But your comparison of $100 Android phones with “$1000 iPhones” is ridiculous. The Android flagship phones that are intended to compete with the iPhone tend to be similar in price to the latest iPhone 7/7 Plus. And, while Apple intentionally chooses not to offer a garbage, bargain-basement phone, Apple does offer many iPhone models starting at much less than $1000. The iPhone SE starts at $399, the 7 at $649, and the 7 Plus at $769.

      When you exaggerate in an attempt to make an argument, then you weaken your argument and make yourself appear foolish. Use facts to support your positions. If that does not work, then you might want to rethink your beliefs.

  2. And who spends the most in the mobile space? From which operating system? I think we all know the real answer to these questions for the shorter and longer term.

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