Apple Pay usage estimated to rise sharply in United States due to frustration with slow Chip-and-PIN cards

“Contactless payment methods like Apple Pay will rise sharply in the United States, from less than 2 percent of transactions this year to 34 percent by 2022, according to a new report shared by research firm Juniper Research,” Joe Rossignol reports for MacRumors.

“Juniper Research argued that customer dissatisfaction at the slower speeds of chip card transactions, like chip-and-signature or chip-and-PIN, will further increase the adoption of smartphone-based payments, an area currently dominated by Apple Pay,” Rossignol reports. “Apple CEO Tim Cook recently confirmed Apple Pay momentum is ‘strongest in international markets,’ where he said the infrastructure for mobile payments has developed faster than in the United States.”

Rossignol reports, “Cook added that three out of four Apple Pay transactions happen outside of the U.S., where the service first launched in October 2014.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just yesterday, we stood in line for at least 5 minutes while some lady paid for her groceries by writing out a check (in 2017!) and then the next guy sat there for at least two minutes trying to insert his chipped card, getting it to read, and waiting for verification. We used Apple Pay and the whole transaction took seconds – a split-second for Apple Pay and the rest of the time waiting for the cash register to print out the receipt. The rest of the people in line noticed the differences in time wasted vs. time saved (for everyone). That sort of experience repeated over and over across the country will lead to increased Apple Pay usage.


  1. While Apple Pay works at almost all stores that accept NFC (“tap”) payments, one problem is that it is limited by the $100 maximum payment allowed for generic NFC card purchases. I assume that those stores that directly support Apple Pay (named, not simply generic NFC tap sensor) allow higher limits, but I have never been able to test that. Is that a correct assumption, or is there a similar limit imposed (US and/or Canada)?

    1. That limit is down to the bank issuing the card and the retailer. If either of them impose a limit, you have to stay below the lower of those two limits.

      In the UK, there used to be a £30 transaction limit on all Apple Pay purchases ( the same as with contactless cards ), but a couple of months ago my bank announced that Apple Pay is now good for transactions of any size so long as I have funds to cover it, but the retailer might set their own limits.

      More and more British retailers are removing those limits for Apple Pay and it’s now so commonly accepted that it’s my usual way of paying for most purchases.

    2. The $100 limit might not be a limit at all. In Australia nearly all credit card payments are done contactless now, and while anything under $100 is PIN-free, you simply type your PIN after tapping for things that cost more.

  2. Great comment. The check writing confirms that somepeople shouldn’t be allowed in public. I have. Seen the same. And you watch, sometime over a minute to write a signature. Oh boy when they actually have to scribble the amount of the check. Likewise on the chip cards. Use Apple pay when ever possible and complain to management if they don’t have Apple Pay. Although I do note that Apple Watch works maybe 60% of the time. Even in the Apple Store.

    1. My mom is never going to use a smartphone to pay for her groceries. It is cash or check for her, and it only takes a minute or so to write and process a check – certainly *not* five minutes. My mom always had the check filled out and ready to enter the amount. She also had her ID ready.

      Sorry, MDN, but you will have to live with the “luddites” for a while longer. If you do not like it, then petition for a “smartphone payments only” lane at your store.

      1. You know a ‘smartphone payments only’ is actually a good idea, although I’m not sure how many stores would be in favor of it, but I guess time will tell. I can completely understand about your mom not ever using a smart device to pay for things, my dad at 77 gets so mad every time he pushes something wrong on his iphone.

      2. In the UK, most retail places stopped accepting cheques some years ago. You either pay in cash or with a card. The only time I use my cheque book is once a year for the guy who delivers a truckload of logs at the start of each winter and he will probably switch to electronic payment soon.

        Some of our supermarkets have some card-only tills and for the last four years my local supermarket has offered scan as you go shopping. I use my loyalty card ( on my iPhone of course ) to pick up a hand held reader when I walk in. I scan everything as I shop, put that shopping straight into my own bags ( no throwaway bags here ) and then go to one of ten special high speed checkouts where the reader automatically transfers the item list to the till. I can choose to pay by cash or card ( Apple Pay too of course ) and the entire checkout process can be completed in about twenty seconds or so.

        Every so often the system flags you up during checkout and an assistant has to choose maybe five or ten items from your bags. If they find that any of them haven’t been scanned, they might scan everything afresh and in future you’re going to be much more likely to be flagged up for those ‘random’ checks.

        There’s rarely a queue to check out, and even in pre-Christmas peak periods it’s a fast moving queue. Scanning as you go also means that you can see a running total of what you’re spending, which matters to people on limited budgets and if you’re near the end of the shop and wondering if you’ve picked up a particular item, you can scroll through the list on the scanner, rather than rummage through your shopping.

        The only time you need an assistant to intervene at the checkout is to authorise age restricted items ( alcohol or certain medicines ), or for anything which wouldn’t scan when you picked it up.

        The system also alerts you to special offers and when you scan certain items, it might remind you that you can have a second one for 50% off and if you do that, you will see a price adjustment come up in the list on the scanner.

        It’s a great system and takes a lot of the hassle out of shopping and almost completely eliminates queuing.

  3. The chip readers are relatively fast. Europe and Canada have had them for years. Apple Pay is definitely faster. It’s just that American customers are not used to it (yet). But how stupid is it if one still needs to sign after using Apple Pay?! It just drives me crazy. This doesn’t happen in Europe. You pay with the chip + code or with Apple Pay. No signature needed no matter what amount. The signature is worth nothing. Nobody even looks at it. I’ve signed many receipts like that with a signature not matching the signature on the credit card. No one ever noticed. I use Apple Pay wherever possible. It’s fast but what’s even more important: It’s safer than all the other payment methods. And: US stores: Get a grip and stop asking for my signature if I pay with Apple Pay or the chip + code! It’s annoying!

    1. I’ve been using chip & PIN in Europe for many years ( at least 10-15 ) and have never been asked to sign anything when paying that way, but when I was recently in America, I was frequently asked to sign as well as entering my PIN.

      In reality I scrawled things like “Pointless” or “Clueless” on the slip and nobody ever compared it with what was written on my card.

    2. I find the chip readers extremely slow. In the past I’d swipe, be approved, and the receipt prints. Now you stick the chip in, twiddle your thumbs, type in your code, then awkwardly make eye contact with the cashier like three times as you’re waiting for it to be approved. Something on the backend seems to take forever with the new chip cards.

  4. I agree with the MDN take, but only partially. I use my Apple Watch for Apple Pay as often as possible, but many of the stores I shop at don’t accept Apple Pay, and Macy that do still require my signature, some on the reader, some on paper.

    1. My list in the UK places where I can’t use Apple Pay consists of –
      1) Pay at Pump filling stations – the pump doesn’t usually have a contactless reader, but the attendant in the kiosk usually does.

      2) Homebase, a major DIY chain, like a scaled down Home Depot. Their card readers still don’t accept any contactless cards.

      Beyond that, it’s pretty well everywhere else, even small family-owned shops. Places that won’t accept it have apologetic notes taped onto their terminals saying that contactless cards can’t be used.

    2. Can American visiting Europe use Apple Pay?
      Seems like it should be OK, but I know some credit cards aren’t accepted.
      Well, I’ll find out in about 3 weeks 🙂

  5. Sadly, in the USA it’s still a mess of dithering companies where you never know what’s supported. You may have a chip-and-pin reading machine in front of you but the thing is only set up to read mag stripes. We’re approaching two years since the designated death date for mag stripes, and yet…

    Happily, I am seeing ‘Apple Pay’ stickers clearly placed on readers that are ready for the modern world, albeit a slow progression. I see no point in blaming Apple for the dawdling adoption rate. I do place blame on doltish company sales departments. Ooo! Future! Scary! 😛

  6. Why are these businesses that do accept Apple Pay setting up their machines where the clerk has to do their part, such as press another button? When I get fuel at the pump itself, all I do is hold my phone close to the little light and then you’re simply good to go. No person nearby approving anything. That’s the way Apple Pay should work. No clerk required.

  7. AAaarrggh! Apple Pay and signatures. Apple needs to do more work with banks credit card companies and retail chains to convince them that signatures are NOT needed. It is infuriating in Staples and many other chains to have to sign after being approved at the NFC reader. Apple – can you step up?

  8. Yes, Apple Pay can be very fast. But the requirement (here in the US, at any rate), that certain purchases be signed also slows things down. There’s also no consistency to the threshold above which signatures are required. At some places, all purchases require signature, and at other places it’s $50+ only. Why? No idea.

  9. I live in NYC and I only use a credit chip-card. All the places I shop have no problem with it. All major chain stores and retailers readers are set up for it. All the shops I go to have upgraded readers and won’t even allow using the magnetic stripe. Even the smaller bodegas/mom-and-pop eateries in my neighborhood take practically every sort of card you can imagine. I guess they want to make sure that everyone can buy goods at their stores without any hassle. ApplePay is rather limited in use as far as I can tell. I’m not sure why, though.

  10. Im still totally lost at what the system is in the US. companies finally getting chip cards but it seems like no one is using touchless/tap transactions. You have to insert the card into the POS machine. In theory that could be fast but its retardedly slow. It supposedly new but acts like old tech. SMH

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