Week in digital: Apple pay - has it caught on?

By Teamspirit on Friday, 23 October 2015

This week Apple Pay was a year old. That may come as a shock to some, but that’s probably because it’s only been live in the UK since July.

It seems though that adoption statistics aren’t quite what were expected after a year in the US. It’s barely a blip on retailer’s radars at just less than 1% of total sales. However, there is significant scale with the US expecting 1.5 million retailers to adopt it by the end of the year with the UK boasting 250,000 retailers already. Predictions from Apple for 2016 are certainly ambitious. In the US, Tim Cook stated that Apple Pay accounted for 2 of every 3 dollars used in contactless payments and saw significant growth in the market.

However as Sucharita Mulpuru, a Forrester principal analyst who specialises in eCommerce and consumer behaviour, pointed out, “Regardless of how many companies accept it, what really matters is how many consumers are using it.” After all 66% of 1% ain’t an awful lot.

So growing the category appears to be an essential part of success and that will definitely happen next year. Samsung threw its hat firmly into the ring with a launch in the US in September, and Google finally got its act together by completing the transformation of Google Wallet to Android Pay to make it a cross device solution. Both of those platforms have plans to launch in the UK in 2016 so expect to see far more people in shops waving their phone wands over card machines next year.

So in its second year Apple Pay is going to face significant competition. Unusually for Apple, they’re actually quite early into the market and as we know it’s not always the first to market that wins, but the best. It’s something they’ve proved time after time with the iPod, the iPad and the iPhone. Whether Apple Pay wins this battle will be fascinating to watch.


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