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The latest on Apple Pay (#Money2020)

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I just attended the Money2020 opening session where Jennifer Bailey, who heads up Apple Pay, made a series of statements and announcements about the three-year anniversary of Apple Pay.

Released on October 20, 2014, the wallet is now used extensively in the USA and 19 other countries, including newly added countries Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

Jennifer claimed that Apple Pay is used for 90% of mobile transactions in the USA and is now able to be used in over half of all American retail locations. She stated that the volume of transactions in Apple Pay is growing at twice the volume of online transactions and five times the volume of physical retail transactions. She claims this is a bigger volume than Amazon and Alibaba’s numbers combined, and shows the success of the wallet.

She then went on to announce all the new retail partner stores they have teamed up with, along with the way in which the Apple Cash service works in messenger. If you’ve not seen Apple Pay Cash, it’s been viewed as a Venmo killer. Venmo is the #1 US app for making social payments easily, and is owned by PayPal. Apple Pay Cash was announced alongside the iPhone 8 and is rolling out later this year after beta trials with Apple employees.

Whether all of this pays off remains to be seen however, with Pymnts.com describing Apple Pay as the top of C-Grade class:

Despite Apple CEO’s Tim Cook’s ebullient shout-out to Apple Pay in its latest earnings report last week. Apple Pay may be, to quote him directly, “by far the number one NFC payment service on mobile devices, with nearly 90 percent of all transactions globally.” But that’s a lot like saying you’re the best of all the C students in a class of C students: It’s still a class of C students. After almost three years, Apple Pay seems unable to consistently crack 6 percent usage in the biggest payments market in the world. Our results show average usage over nine quarters to be about 4.5 percent. And while it has hit a high of 5.9 percent, and did hit 5.5 percent this past quarter, the trend remains flat despite the increase this quarter ... When we asked consumers how often they used Apple Pay to pay for something in a physical store, they did so about 18 percent of the time. That stat hasn’t budged since March and has been on the decline since October of 2015.

So there you have it. Apple Pay has been around three years, but many of us are still unconvinced of its pedigree or need.

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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