Is Apple Pay the killer app for Apple Watch?

Apple, Apple Watch, Apple Pay, iPhone, iOS, wearables
Credit: Susie Ochs

Huge consumer satisfaction among Apple Pay-using smartwatch owners

Love

Apple Watch and Apple Pay are bringing the mobile wallet to millions of consumers who are already eager to use the solutions more often in more places, so is Apple Pay the killer app for Apple Watch?

Consumers certainly seem to love the freedom of the solution. You get a good sense of this if you use an Apple Watch and Apple Pay to pay public transport fee, there’s something to be said for the friction-free experience of simply waggling your watch across the payment sensor to catch your ride.

It looks like Apple Pay is winning on Apple Watch. Asking 1,000 existing US Apple Watch owners Wristly found 80 percent were already using Apple Pay (if possible), revealing incredibly positive feedback: 51 percent of the sample group called the experience “magical” while 42 percent said it was “convenient”.

Also read: 14 Apple Watch apps you’ll want to use

“Our research suggests Apple Pay on the Watch is a delightful experience and it therefore seems fair to extrapolate from its early usage patterns that adoption will continue to be strong,” Wristly writes.

Watch

To put this in a little context an earlier Wristly survey showed just 15-20 percent of iPhone 6 users have started using Apple’s mobile wallet service. Today we learn around one-in-five Apple Watch owners first tried Apple Pay with their smartwatch, rather than smartphone.

Given the strength and loyalty of Apple’s early adopter community you could ague that the feedback reflects the opinion of those already deeply invested in Apple’s platforms. Surprisingly, this is not the case given a previous Wristy survey that declared: “It was almost as if the farther away people were from tech or the tech industry, the more they liked the Apple Watch.” This suggests those early Apple Watch/Pay users are neither Apple fanboys or tech early adopters. Which means they are normal consumers

If the solution has indeed won the consumer market then you can expect existing Apple Watch/Pay users to become quiet evangelists for the platforms (a not unheard of manifestation of Apple’s success).

With this in mind it is interesting to note that consumer sentiment appears overwhelmingly positive while Wristly predicts 95 percent of Apple Watch users will eventually pick up on payments:

96 percent of users want to use Apple Watch and Apple Pay at more locations

88 percent like its privacy protection features

Over 90 percent of users praise its convenience, ease-of-use, speed, security and user experience (“it’s cool and fun”)

Appeal

Retailers need to recognize that a significant number (86 percent) of Apple Watch/Apple Pay users “actively look for the Apple Pay branding materials when they shop, which should help accelerate merchant adoption of compatible payment terminals.

So, is Apple Pay the killer app?

Probably not – like the iPhone (or indeed like the Mac) the platform is capable of running numerous small apps that bring utility and better interactions to users. In future as WatchOS 2 enables use of apps independently from an iPhone we should see new breeds of these pop up that perform more unique functions on the device itself.

The future is hard to predict, but it does seem reasonably obvious that health, payments, communications and identity will all become part of what will makes Apple’s smartwatches increasingly essential to daily life.

These statistics alone should serve to reassure anyone who thinks Apple Watch sales are slowing. It seems likely they will be as consumers in the Northern Hemisphere hit the beach with the kids while they wait on new iPhones in September. However don’t be too surprised to see WatchOS 2 boost interest in Apple Watch. Just in time for Christmas (again).

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