Retail data analytics firm InfoScout has told payment industry conference PYMNTS R2 that the percentage of U.S. iPhone 6 owners who have tried Apple Pay fell from 15% in March to 13.1% in June. Usage has also fallen sharply among those who have tried the service. Surveying iPhone 6 owners who have previously used Apple Pay and were shopping in a store that accepts the payment method, the percentage using Apple Pay fell from 39.3% in March to just 23% in June.
Payment industry site Pymnts suggests that while the fall is in some ways unsurprising, Apple must also accept part of the responsibility …
The unsurprising element, explains InfoScout CEO Jared Schrieber, is that early adopters of the iPhone 6 were techier users.
“As more and more people buy iPhone 6’s, we are seeing a lower percentage of them adopting or trying Apple Pay. That shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise as we move from people who are early adopters and more likely to try things, to later adopters who are not,” Schrieber noted.
But Apple has also failed to educate mass-market consumers, either about the security benefits offered by Apple Pay, or how to use it.
“People don’t understand why it is they would go about using Apple Pay, they are fine with what they have. And they are not familiar with how they would use Apple Pay if they wanted to,” Schrieber noted.
Others at the conference said that habit was also hampering growth of Apple Pay.
“We’re competing with 50 years of muscle memory and if we’re just swapping a swipe for tap, you’re only going to get the nerds like me to jump on board,” said Paydiant’s Chris Gardner.
LoopPay’s Will Graylin added that “merchant acceptance wasn’t there from the beginning, and it is very hard to build a sticky system if there is no place for consumers to get in the habit of using it.”
Apple is working hard to increase adoption of the service, recently adding 40 more banks and credit unions to bring the total number of financial institutions in the U.S. supporting Apple Pay to more than 400. The service also went live in the UK last month. Adoption by merchants of contactless terminals is also likely to increase as banks roll out next-generation payment cards which require updated terminals, with these expected to be in widespread use by October. Lastly, the survey’s conclusion is somewhat countered by another recent piece of research by Auriemma Consulting Group, which found that usage was on the rise as availability expands.