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Apple Pay Use Growing in US

(New York): Apple Pay usage in the US is growing, driven by both increased frequency of transactions and the expanding base of iPhone 6 owners, according to Auriemma Group’s Apple Pay Tracker, which interviewed 500 iPhone 6 and 6+ owners between May 29 and June 15, 2015. Forty-two per cent of Apple 6/6+ owners reported having used Apple Pay, virtually identical to the proportions reported in two previous waves of the study conducted in February and April 2015. “While the proportion of users has remained stable, the denominator has grown through new iPhone and Apple Watch sales and the upgrade cycle. We’ve also seen the average number of transactions increase both in-store and in-app,” says Marianne Berry, Managing Director of Auriemma’s Payment Insights practice.

Data from the study indicates that users consider Apple Pay to be more than a novelty, Berry notes. “It’s not surprising that the first cohort to own the newest iPhone would be eager to try Apple Pay, so we were particularly interested in comparing trial to adoption rates. Eighty-four percent of Apple Pay users reported having made more than three transactions in stores, and 76% have used it more than three times in-app, suggesting that the abandon rate is low.”

The number of places where Apple Pay is used has also increased. In the April survey only 13% of Apple Pay users had used it in more than six stores, while two months later that number had grown to 24%. During the same two month period the number using Apple Pay for 6 or more apps grew from 1% to 10%.

“It’s likely that the number of retailers accepting Apple Pay will expand, especially as merchants hear from these customers and look at their purchasing power. Seventy per cent of Apple Pay users state that they are more likely to choose a store that accepts Apple Pay,” Berry says, “and this group is even more affluent than the overall Apple phone owner population.”

Indeed, one of the few complaints users have is a lack of opportunities to use Apple Pay. The effect is particularly notable in the burgeoning m-commerce market, as Apple Pay devotees have learned to search the App Store to find apps that accept the payment method. “It’s a rare instance of consumers starting out with a preferred payment method and searching for a place to spend it—like the proverbial hammer looking for a nail.”

Despite the enthusiasm of early adopters, Apple Pay sales volume accounts for only a tiny share of overall credit and debit card sales, and Berry doesn’t expect that to change quickly. “In the early days after launch, we found a high level of intent to use among those who hadn’t tried it yet. As more iPhone owners gain the ability to use the service through the upgrade cycle, we’re seeing a pretty stable proportion of about 30% who are taking a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude, often citing security concerns about a new technology. The introduction of Android Pay later this year may accelerate the evolution of perceptions about mobile payments moving from novelty to mainstream.”

About Auriemma Group

Auriemma is a boutique management consulting firm with specialized focus on the Payments and Lending space. We deliver actionable solutions and insights that add value to our clients’ business activities across a broad set of industry topics and disciplines. For more information, call (212) 323-7000.

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