Apple Pay usage remains steady despite decline in mobile wallets, survey says

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A new study suggests that actual Apple Pay hasn't grown much since the feature's debut, though the contactless payment system has remained steady during a broader decline in mobile payment usage.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The survey, carried out by PYMNTS, found that 93.9% of respondents with Apple Pay activated on their devices did not use it in-store to pay for purchases. That isn't much higher than the 5.1% of respondents in a 2015 survey.

This appears to be largely because of the lack of growth among mobile wallet usage. According to PYMNTS, mobile wallet use in-store declined 26.2% between 2019 and 2021. At the same time, credit card use increased by 33.8%.

Despite that fact, Apple Pay usage has remained steady, suggesting that users who did use Apple Pay continued to do so despite other mobile wallets declining.

Apple Pay also remains the largest mobile wallet system with 45.5% of the market share. As PYMNTS points out, it's just the fact that plastic cards -- and specifically credit cards -- seem to be winning out as far as consumer usage.

PYMNTS suggests that Apple Pay can either expand to Android to gain more market share or to convince more iPhone users to actively use the contactless payment platform when checking out in-store.

The survey is based on a study of 3,671 U.S. consumers between Aug. 3 and Aug. 10. It did not look at Apple Pay usage on the App Store or for online purchases.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    In Europe Apple Pay is used extensively. Personally I pay always with Apple Pay and don’t even carry my wallet anymore. I love Apple Pay!
    watto_cobrachasmspock1234
  • Reply 2 of 30
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 424member
    Apparently the authors are oblivious to the fact that a steady percentage of users using something is not the same as the actual number of users using something when the number of users themselves are increasing.  The # of active iPhones in the world more than doubled since 2015, so if 6% used Apple Pay in both 2015 and 2021, then the number people using Apple Pay has doubled too.
    mike1watto_cobramattinoztapespock1234
  • Reply 3 of 30
    "mobile wallet"? All wallets are mobile. Unless you somehow chain it to a desk or something. :)
    edited September 2021 uraharawatto_cobraIreneWdarkvaderspock1234
  • Reply 4 of 30
    Sadly, most places in the USA don’t support Apple Pay. It is getting better but large retailers like Walmart and Home Deport have chosen not to support it. For others, they have not upgraded or have chosen terminals that don’t work reliably. One wish that I have is the restaurant industry would move to mobile terminals like the ones that are universally available outside of the USA. There also needs to be a universal interface for the contactless sensor. It’s fun to use my watch as many people find it magically when I use it. 
    watto_cobrachasmspock1234
  • Reply 5 of 30
    tjwolf said:
    Apparently the authors are oblivious to the fact that a steady percentage of users using something is not the same as the actual number of users using something when the number of users themselves are increasing.  The # of active iPhones in the world more than doubled since 2015, so if 6% used Apple Pay in both 2015 and 2021, then the number people using Apple Pay has doubled too.
    Apparently you found something in the article what I can’t see.
    Where was the term ‘number of users used in the article?
  • Reply 6 of 30
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Sadly, most places in the USA don’t support Apple Pay. It is getting better but large retailers like Walmart and Home Deport have chosen not to support it. For others, they have not upgraded or have chosen terminals that don’t work reliably. One wish that I have is the restaurant industry would move to mobile terminals like the ones that are universally available outside of the USA. There also needs to be a universal interface for the contactless sensor. It’s fun to use my watch as many people find it magically when I use it. 

    Yeh, there are still a few holdouts.   i avoid them.  There are too many other options to screw around with them.

    But, around Pittsburgh Apple Pay is becoming increasingly pervasive.  The only places I know (except for the holdouts) who don't take it are some vendors at farmers markets, restaurants where the waitress takes your card and one ice cream place that only takes cash.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,316member
    Sadly, most places in the USA don’t support Apple Pay. It is getting better but large retailers like Walmart and Home Deport have chosen not to support it. For others, they have not upgraded or have chosen terminals that don’t work reliably. One wish that I have is the restaurant industry would move to mobile terminals like the ones that are universally available outside of the USA. There also needs to be a universal interface for the contactless sensor. It’s fun to use my watch as many people find it magically when I use it. 

    Yeh, there are still a few holdouts.   i avoid them.  There are too many other options to screw around with them.

    But, around Pittsburgh Apple Pay is becoming increasingly pervasive.  The only places I know (except for the holdouts) who don't take it are some vendors at farmers markets, restaurants where the waitress takes your card and one ice cream place that only takes cash.
    I don't shop at Walmart, but Home Depot does not accept any type of contactless payment. Clearly a choice that has nothing to do with Apple Pay, per se. Other than that, virtually every other place I shop accepts Apple Pay. Grocery Stores large and small, Target (ironically, accepts Apple Pay, but doesn't let you add their Red Cards to your wallet), local bakeries, delis, pizza places, breweries, food trucks all accept Apple Pay. Restaurants and bars are biggest holdout for this type of payment system as you still almost always need to give the card to the server.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 30
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,836member
    I played with ApplePay for a bit. First I had to wait for my credit card to work with it. My Credit Union still has no plans so my debit card is out. But when I finally got a card that would load, I tried it a few times. The first place, where I go to for my tech gear, it worked fine. The next three places in a row were hard fails. I might as well have been waving a block of wood at the reader. So I then had to pull out my physical card and swipe it. That was a couple of years ago. When I updated my phone I didn’t even bother setting up ApplePay. TBH I haven’t even opened the Wallet App on this iPhone. No reason to go through that hassle, and embarrassment when tapping my chip card is almost as easy and WORKS EVERY TIME.

    So it does not surprise me that in store usage is in the single digit range. I wonder if it’s a similar percentage of iPhone owners who have even set up AP. I would not be surprised.
    edited September 2021 darkvader
  • Reply 9 of 30
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,213member
    Ubiquitous in Australia. Almost half phones are iPhones, and I hardly see a card pulled out these days. My daughter I think has never used her actual card!
    watto_cobramacsince1988GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 30
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,316member
    DAalseth said:
    I played with ApplePay for a bit. First I had to wait for my credit card to work with it. My Credit Union still has no plans so my debit card is out. But when I finally got a card that would load, I tried it a few times. The first place, where I go to for my tech gear, it worked fine. The next three places in a row were hard fails. I might as well have been waving a block of wood at the reader. So I then had to pull out my physical card and swipe it. That was a couple of years ago. When I updated my phone I didn’t even bother setting up ApplePay. TBH I haven’t even opened the Wallet App on this iPhone. No reason to go through that hassle, and embarrassment when tapping my chip card is almost as easy and WORKS EVERY TIME.

    So it does not surprise me that in store usage is in the single digit range. I wonder if it’s a similar percentage of iPhone owners who have even set up AP. I would not be surprised.

    Most merchants have gotten better in the past couple of years. Worth giving it another shot, especially if you have an Apple Watch. Most convenient of all.
    bonobobwatto_cobrachasmmacsince1988GeorgeBMacspock1234
  • Reply 11 of 30
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,836member
    mike1 said:
    DAalseth said:
    I played with ApplePay for a bit. First I had to wait for my credit card to work with it. My Credit Union still has no plans so my debit card is out. But when I finally got a card that would load, I tried it a few times. The first place, where I go to for my tech gear, it worked fine. The next three places in a row were hard fails. I might as well have been waving a block of wood at the reader. So I then had to pull out my physical card and swipe it. That was a couple of years ago. When I updated my phone I didn’t even bother setting up ApplePay. TBH I haven’t even opened the Wallet App on this iPhone. No reason to go through that hassle, and embarrassment when tapping my chip card is almost as easy and WORKS EVERY TIME.

    So it does not surprise me that in store usage is in the single digit range. I wonder if it’s a similar percentage of iPhone owners who have even set up AP. I would not be surprised.

    Most merchants have gotten better in the past couple of years. Worth giving it another shot, especially if you have an Apple Watch. Most convenient of all.
    I probably won’t bother as long as my debit card isn’t compatible Thats what I use most of the time. I can whip that out, tap, and be done in just a couple seconds. But even if it was, I really don’t see a need to switch. 
    edited September 2021
  • Reply 12 of 30
    Surely the dip in use is due to stay-at-home/lockdowns and mask use.  

    Using ApplePay on my phone with a mask on is impossible.  I use the watch instead. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,357member
    DAalseth said:
    mike1 said:
    DAalseth said:
    I played with ApplePay for a bit. First I had to wait for my credit card to work with it. My Credit Union still has no plans so my debit card is out. But when I finally got a card that would load, I tried it a few times. The first place, where I go to for my tech gear, it worked fine. The next three places in a row were hard fails. I might as well have been waving a block of wood at the reader. So I then had to pull out my physical card and swipe it. That was a couple of years ago. When I updated my phone I didn’t even bother setting up ApplePay. TBH I haven’t even opened the Wallet App on this iPhone. No reason to go through that hassle, and embarrassment when tapping my chip card is almost as easy and WORKS EVERY TIME.

    So it does not surprise me that in store usage is in the single digit range. I wonder if it’s a similar percentage of iPhone owners who have even set up AP. I would not be surprised.

    Most merchants have gotten better in the past couple of years. Worth giving it another shot, especially if you have an Apple Watch. Most convenient of all.
    I probably won’t bother as long as my debit card isn’t compatible Thats what I use most of the time. I can whip that out, tap, and be done in just a couple seconds. But even if it was, I really don’t see a need to switch. 
    I'd had the same kinds of experience and decided in practice it's just as quick, and more likely to be successful, to tap/insert the card rather than tapping my phone to pay. I would guess a whole lot of others agree based on the relatively sparse uptake of mobile wallets.

    It's been convenient a couple of times when I've discovered I either didn't have the right card with me (AMEX preferred for the points) or in at least one instance had left my wallet in the truck, but otherwise I have no issue with using the card instead of the phone. 
    edited September 2021
  • Reply 14 of 30
    DAalseth said:
     No reason to go through that hassle, and embarrassment
    If it doesn't work, it's on the merchant, and I give them what for for not implementing it.  Make them feel embarrassed.  I certainly am not.
    watto_cobrachasmGeorgeBMacspock1234
  • Reply 15 of 30
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    I've barely used Apple Pay at all for 18 months.  The reason should be obvious; it's a pain to use it while wearing a mask.  It'll bounce back when we can get these things off our faces and breathe freely.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 30
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 934member
    SO odd given the one time token of ApplePay is so much more secure than a card. I’ve received two of those “we've bern hacked, you’re getting a new card” notices. Two too many. 

    For me mask use is trivial: I hit my passcode and done. Trade security for en extra ten seconds? No thanks. 
    edited September 2021 watto_cobraGeorgeBMacmike1spock1234
  • Reply 17 of 30
    In NYC it’s worked everywhere for years. If the store here takes credit card they’re going to take Apple Pay. I haven’t carried a wallet for almost 2 years. I have the MagSafe card holder that I keep one backup credit card in along with my ID and Metrocard. Can’t wait for WageWorks to support Apple Pay so I can drop my Metrocard for OMNY with Apple Pay. Then I just need NY state to support Apple’s virtual state ID and I’ll probably stop bothering with bringing any physical cards with me.
    edited September 2021 watto_cobrachasmspock1234
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Here in Oz almost everywhere supports mobile payments and Apple Pay is huge. To the point that the Commonwealth Bank CEO is trying to make the case that Apple must open its NFC system to others because it’s not fair to the poor banks. :)

    https://www.bandt.com.au/apple-rejects-commbank-ceos-apple-pay-concerns/

    cry me a river, given that I left the CommBank precisely because they would not support Apple Pay for ages because they were trying to strangle it. 

    I am surprised how behind the times the US is in this regard.
    watto_cobraspock1234
  • Reply 19 of 30
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,008member
    Most of the in person stores I frequent regularly don’t take Apple Pay.  When they do I use it from the watch.  Most of the fast food places do use it so I usually use it there as well.  Ironically I am typing this from In-N-Out burger place, which takes it, but I used an Amex that had a special offer attached and somewhere on the small print of the offer it said something about “Mobile Wallet” use not eligible for the offer.  I usually actually use it here.  But today I had to take the card out. 

    When Apple Pay was new I had a bunch of problems but have not had any problems since except with web use , which seems to be hit or miss in implementation still. 
    watto_cobraspock1234
  • Reply 20 of 30
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
     PYMNTS suggests that Apple Pay can either expand to Android to gain more market share”. How would that work? This is total nonsense. 

    Market share isn’t important. 

    I use Apple Pay sometimes in person because many times I don’t know if the merchant accepts Apple Pay. I do use it when I can on the internet. 
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