The Zen of Apple Pay

Analysts always said it would take the arrival of someone big to transform public attitude to mobile payments, Apple appears to have answered that call, according to the latest surveys.

zen of apple pay

New info from Changewave confirms Apple Pay as top choice among US consumers, though some concerns remain -- security and availability lead these.


Andy Golub, Survey Research Director for 451 Research: “Our latest survey shows planned use of Apple Pay has been on an upward trajectory since it became available six months ago.”

David Icke may see it his way, but Apple has given credibility to the whole mobile payments sector. Changewave found 45% of consumers plan to use Apple Pay, up five points since December.

Results at a Glance

25% of smartphone owners are likely to use mobile payment apps over the next 90 days (11% Very Likely; 14% Somewhat Likely).

Smartphone owners using iOS (34%) more than twice as likely to use mobile payment apps compared to Android (16%), BlackBerry (13%) or Windows Phone (5%) users. Interest in using PayPal declined from 32 percent to 28 percent.

Having legitimized the market, Apple has also disrupted it – not bad if you consider the sustained attempts to own your wallet on behalf of other big brands across the last few years. “In the wake of Apple’s entrance, Google and PayPal have made significant acquisitions, while players such as Facebook and Samsung are rolling out payment products to remain competitive.”

You can’t blame these firms for chasing your dollars. You can blame them for failing to attract it. Changewave reports that 66% of those who have used Apple Pay saying they’re Very Satisfied with the service, followed by PayPal (45%) and Google Wallet (33%).

Frustrations remain.

Greg Weed of Phoenix says of Apple Pay (in a press release advertising competing service Wocket): “47% visited a store that was listed as an Apple Pay merchant only to find out that the specific store they visited did not accept (or were not ready to accept) Apple Pay."

That’s changing, of course. A Boston Retail Partners survey shows 40 percent of all large retailers plan to support Apple Pay this year. I imagine new and agile operators will begin to help smaller retailers get involved, also, focusing on vertical markets, for example Instamed which lets you pay healthcare costs with Apple Pay and an Apple Watch.

“Consumer adoption of Apple Pay has grown rapidly in the short time since its release,” observes InstaMedco-founder, Chris Seib. “In fact, consumers are driving merchants in all industries to accept Apple. Apple does a tremendous job designing products with a ‘consumer first’ approach.  We feel that the healthcare industry can benefit greatly from a similar consumer-first approach.”

Consumers have not trusted these payment systems until now, but perception appears to be improving, says Changewave. One in four respondents (24%) believe mobile payments are more secure than traditional credit cards while 27% think they’re less secure.

That kind of interest stands starkly against some analysts who have predicted Apple Watch will do little to boost Apple Pay adoption. They’re wrong. Harris Interactive notes that 10 percent of smartphone users check their phones every 10 minutes. Revel Systems co-founder and CTO Christopher Ciabarra called this an “intimate relationship” speaking with Computerworld’s Appleholic blog last week. “People don’t have that same kind of connection to their wallets,” he said. "They help you pay for something -- but they don’t connect you with other people or the world.”

Joe Dalton, chief products officer at SmartFocus notes: "With Apple Watch, there will be the convenience of Apple Pay and the proximity function that goes with it… I'm bullish on what watches can do and believe it's the next evolution of the smartphone."

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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