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Apple Pay at Six Months: A Medium-Term Outlook

Apple Pay Will Reinforce Mobile Card Spend of iPhone Users, Already the Most Lucrative Smartphone Demographic

This Emerging Technologies research note offers a nuanced outlook of Apple Pay’s future


Six months post release, what do we know about Apple Pay’s prospects? Early consumer surveys of iPhone users reveal that few users have both enabled a card on the app and gone ahead to make a purchase with it. Worse, few retailers seem to support Near Field Communication, or NFC, payments—just 700,000 locations according to Apple’s latest reckoning. Will lack of avenues to use Apple Pay at the point of sale doom its likelihood of becoming the iPhone user’s payment method of choice?

Analyzing data from a number of sources on mobile commerce, demographic characteristics, and payment industry trends, Mercator’s research note, Apple Pay at Six Months: A Medium-Term Outlook, argues that writing off Apple Pay for its slow initial adoption misses the forest for the trees. Mobile is increasingly becoming the foundation of all retail experiences, whether online or in-store—Apple Pay, by making it easier to shop on mobile makes the entire experience more convenient and far more secure.

“Apple Pay’s elimination of the inconvenience of entering card numbers to complete purchases on smartphones and tablets will hasten mobile’s growing dominance of the overall e-commerce pie, which continues to expand. We will also see brick-and-mortar merchants creating new retail experiences that leverage Apple Pay in their native apps for a seamless payment experience,” comments Nikhil Joseph, Emerging Technologies Analyst at the Mercator Advisory Group and author of the note.

The research note contains 12 pages and 9 figures.

Members of Mercator Advisory Group’s Emerging Technologies Advisory Service have access to this note as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead, presentations, analyst access, and other membership benefits.

Highlights of the research note include:

  • Analysis of key trends showing mobile’s growing dominance of the e-commerce pie, and how it is blurring the line with in-store commerce

  • Summary of key data points from recent consumer surveys on use of Apple Pay and what they mean for its future adoption

  • Identification of key variables that will drive the adoption of Apple Pay as a payment method of choice among iPhone users at the point of sale

  • Forecast until 2020 for number of Apple Pay capable iPhones, total card commerce volume associated with users of those devices, and projected Apple Pay volume based on a probabilistic model