Apple Pay has been adopted by 11% of all credit card-owning households and 66% of iPhone 6 users in the US since its launch in October, but two-thirds of users report problems at checkout.
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Merchants in the US are missing out on potential sales because they are not set up to take Apple Pay payments.
A survey of 3,000 credit card-holders by Phoenix Marketing International found there are about 12 million people using Apple Pay. Some 82% of these link it to a credit card, 53% to a debit card and 20% to pre-paid cards, the research found.
But the payments service is not achieving its potential, according to Greg Weed, director of card research at Phoenix Marketing. “The early-on transaction potential is being undercut by low repeat usage and lost payment opportunities,” he said.
Weed said merchants were often not ready to accept the payments, and almost half of users who visited stores listed as accepting Apple Pay discovered they did not.
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“The demand is there – 59% of Apple Pay users have gone into a store and asked to make a purchase with Apple Pay,” he said. “But so is the disappointment – 47% visited a store that was listed as an Apple Pay merchant only to find out that the store they visited did not accept, or were not ready to accept, Apple Pay.”
Apple Pay was launched to iPhone users in the US in November. In its first month of availability, the technology was responsible for 1% of digital payments in the country. By comparison, Google Wallet, which was launched in 2011, accounted for only 4% of payments in its first month, according to the ITG Mobile Payments report.
Apple Pay could soon be heading for the UK. An Apple job listing in December revealed the company’s plans to expand the service beyond the US.
The job listing, which was subsequently removed, was revealed by website iClarified. The advert mentioned plans to expand the service, which is available only in the US, across Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa (Emeia). It said a London-based Apple Pay team would lead this expansion.