Apple Pay Used on 16% of Active iPhones Worldwide, Widespread Adoption Still Expected in 3-5 Years

This morning,
Loup Ventures
shared new information on Apple Pay adoption,
estimating that there were 127 million global Apple Pay users by
the end of 2017, a jump from 62 million the previous year. Given
that there are about 795 million active iPhones around the world,
this means that about 16 percent of iPhone owners have activated
Apple Pay.

Of that 16 percent base, five percent are located in the United
States and 11 percent are international users. Loup Ventures
broke these numbers down further, pointing out that around 38
million people use Apple Pay in the U.S., and 89 million use
Apple’s mobile wallet globally.


The Apple Pay review also has a few other tidbits of research,
including that the number of banks globally supporting Apple
Pay have increased in the past year by 41 percent, to total
2,707 banks. Loup Ventures checked the top 100 retailers in the
U.S. for Apple Pay compatibility as well, and found consistent
growth of adoption across many online resources. In the last
year, Apple Pay adoption in these retailers’ apps grew 9
percent, mobile sites grew 85 percent, and desktop sites grew
56 percent.

We completed our annual Apple Pay review and found year over
year growth has been impressive with active users more than
doubling (source: Apple), transactions more than tripling
(source: Apple) and online merchant adoption increasing by ~50%
(source: Loup Ventures). That said, we believe only 16% of
global iPhone users have turned on Apple Pay. We remain
optimistic that Apple Pay will gain widespread adoption over
the next 3-5 years given integration OS and iOS makes it the
easiest to use digital wallet.

Apple first debuted Apple Pay in the fall of 2014,
and although many retailers joined in support of the platform it
has faced push back from companies like
Target
and Walmart
as each try to develop their own digital wallet service. Last
spring, Apple said it wasn’t
worried about the slow adoption of Apple Pay
because it saw
the mobile wallet as on track to soon become its customers’
“primary payment system.”

In an interview around the same time, Eddy Cue said, “Does it
matter if we get there in two years, three years [or] five
years? Ultimately, no.” Although Apple executives have remained
in vocal support of Apple Pay, at the time of the launch
consumer reticence to support Apple Pay was said to have
permeated within the company, to the point where some
executives “were reluctant to promote it.” Recent ads for
iPhone have been heavily focused on the iPhone X’s new
features, and the latest Apple Pay-focused commercials date
back

to 2015
.

Despite the slow adoption, Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster
said he and the researchers “remain optimistic” that over the
next three to five years, Apple Pay will see ongoing, gradual
growth and eventually “gain widespread adoption.” Although the
report doesn’t discuss rival mobile wallets specifically, it
states that Apple Pay is “the easiest to use digital wallet”
because of its deep integration into iOS.

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