Apple has declared that Apple Pay is off to a “great start” almost a year after its launch with the company seeing steady growth in Apple Pay transactions every month. In a statement to Bloomberg, the company said:
“We’re off to a great start and we are seeing continued, double-digit monthly growth in Apple Pay transactions since launch,” Apple said in an e-mailed statement.
Apple Pay launched last year with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the US. The service expanded to the UK a few months ago. In Apple’s January investor call, Cook claimed 2015 was “the year of Apple Pay”. However, Bloomberg notes that not everyone is as thrilled with the mobile payments service as Apple is. At both Panera Bread and Firehouse, Apple Pay transactions make up low single-digit percentages of overall purchases…
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Although it’s hard to judge success for a mobile payments solution that only works on recent iPhone and Apple Watch hardware, these numbers do seem low. Firehouse is also disappointed with Apple’s lack of marketing for the feature: “Apple is just not even pushing it out,” Burchianti said.
A survey for Apple Watch users showed that most users would set up the feature by adding cards but over half of those only used the service once. Another questionnaire showed that users did not understand the service’s benefits enough to make it part of their habitual buying process. It is very true that Apple Pay is more of a convenience right now, rather than an essential feature.
Apple is expanding Wallet (nee Passbook) in iOS 9 with the addition of Discover cards, as well as store loyalty cards. This should help promote the iPhone wallet features overall, which could give Apple Pay more attention and encourage more adoption of the feature. For the US market, the introduction of EMV technology may also be a factor in Apple Pay uptake, as it will be faster for customers and more efficient for retailers to use contactless payment methods.