Only 16% of Active iPhones Utilize Apple Pay

When Apple first debuted their NFC-powered Apple Pay option in 2014, it was seen as a major breakthrough for mobile payments that would usher in a new era for the technology. While there’s no doubt that Apple’s offering along with competitors like Samsung Pay and Android Pay (now Google Pay) helped make contactless payments mainstream, adoption hasn’t been as rapid as some may have hoped. In fact, according to new figures released by Loup Ventures and reported on by Mac Rumors, a mere 16% of active iPhones in the world currently utilize Apple Pay.

More specifically, 5% of active iPhones using Apple Pay reside in the United States. That equates to about 38 million Apple Pay users in the U.S. with a total of 127 million users worldwide. Notably that’s up significantly from last year when there were just 62 million users globally. As a result Loup still estimates that adoption of the service will reach widespread status in as little as three years. Part of the reason for that optimism comes from the increased number of banks and retailers embracing Apple Pay. In 2017, the number of global banks supporting Apple Pay grew 41% for a total of 2,707. Meanwhile many of the top 100 retailers added Apple Pay support to their apps, desktop, and mobile sites, with the lattermost medium growing by 85%.

Not included in these latest figures are the impact or usage stats for Apple Pay Cash. That offering, seen as Apple’s answer to popular P2P payment services like Venmo and Square Cash, launched late last year, just a couple months after iOS 11’s debut. However it stands to reason that any steam that feature gains could help spur usage for Apple Pay proper.

When it comes to mobile payments news, it seems to be a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, growth stats like those found in this latest report paint a positive for the future. Although, on the other hand, it’s easy to look at the overall picture and be discouraged. That said it does seem like mobile payments at large are catching on and will become a primary form of payment soon enough. Perhaps Apple’s Eddy Cue summed the situation up best when, at the time of the service’s launch, he was asked about Apple Pay becoming consumer’s “primary payment system.” As he put it, “Does it matter if we get there in two years, three years [or] five years? Ultimately, no.”


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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