Apple Not Worried About Apple Pay's Slow Adoption, Believes on Path to Replace Cash and Cards


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple's trouble with getting a wide array of its users, retail partners, and banks to adopt Apple Pay has been highlighted in a new article today by The Wall Street Journal, which also underlines a belief from Apple executives that the service's growth is adequate and that Apple Pay could soon become consumers' "primary payment system," in lieu of cash and credit cards.

Data collected from technology research firm Creative Strategies reported that 40 percent of U.S. consumers have raised concerns about security risks of adding a credit or debit card onto their iPhone, while more than 60 percent aren't even familiar with contactless payments.

While data from a recent Nilson Report noted that Apple Pay's rate of acceptance has "more than doubled since 2015," only a third of stores based in the U.S. have accepted it as a form of payment. Many well-known companies have rolled out support for the service, including Best Buy and Whole Foods, but there remain notable absences from Apple Pay's retail supporter list, namely Target and Wal-Mart.

Braden More, the head of partnerships and industry relations at Wells Fargo, asked, "If you can't use it everywhere, why are you going to switch?" This reticence by consumers to jump in on Apple Pay's launch is said to have permeated within the company surrounding its debut, to the point where Apple executives "were reluctant to promote it." Apple Pay has been noticeably absent from the company's advertising strategy since its launch, with just two Apple Pay-focused commercials being made in nearly three years.
Apple expected consumers to embrace Apple Pay as energetically as they did iTunes--an instant hit when it launched in 2003--because executives felt it was faster and safer than existing payment systems, a former employee on the project said. When retailers didn't support it initially, the person said, Apple executives were reluctant to promote it and invest in retail terminals that would spur adoption.
More recently, the company has become less concerned with Apple Pay's slow adoption over the past few years, because it still sees the mobile wallet as a nascent service whose domination over the industry will come with time. "Does it matter if we get there in two years, three years [or] five years?" Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue said in an interview. "Ultimately, no." Cue compared Apple Pay's adoption as faster than other mobile wallets and thinks it could go so far as to replace cash, debit and credit cards as a primary payment system.

Until that happens, Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey is working on beefing up the company's retail training so that users aren't more knowledgable of paying with the service than employees. The company is said to be working with retailers to add Apple Pay instructions into work manuals as a way to spread knowledge of the mobile wallet's check-out process.

Apple Pay made $30 million for the company in the last fiscal year, accounting for a small portion of Apple's total services business, which made $24.35 billion in total in the same period. While adoption is low and consumer knowledge remains slim, Apple's services business -- which includes iCloud, the App Store, iTunes, and more -- has become a point of focus for the company, so much so that it expects to double its revenue in this area by 2021, Apple Pay expectedly included.

For this reason, David Roberts of Nilson said that Apple Pay is right on the cusp of a wider, "ubiquitous" acceptance.
Nilson Report publisher David Robertson said that with about a third of U.S. retailers adopting it, Apple Pay is on the cusp of broad acceptance. "It's going to become so ubiquitous that we will all do it," he said.
Notably, the rest of 2017 is a big year for Apple and Apple Pay, as the year marks the three-year anniversary of Apple Pay, as well as the end of three-year contract agreements that the company made with banks and credit card issuers back in 2014. Apple will begin negotiations to renew these contracts for the next few years, which the company hopes to be a major contributing factor in helping to double its services revenue over the next four years.

Article Link: Apple Not Worried About Apple Pay's Slow Adoption, Believes on Path to Replace Cash and Cards


macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
Still slow to roll out here in the US. Many places, small businesses, don't even know it is setup on their terminals. I can't count the number of times they said they had no idea when I used it to pay. If I had the time I would work with more people to help them understand how it works but mostly I just keep it to myself.


Apr 29, 2009
Silicon Valley, CA
I use it whenever I can, and thankfully the stores around me are FINALLY getting used to it even though they have had it active since the beginning. It's just a matter of education, and clearly that takes time. If anything, stores that aren't getting on board with mobile payments are starting to look stupid because they are behind a pretty obvious curve. As for business that still insist on cash only? Well, god bless them, but they don't get my business anymore in general as they are a huge inconvenience at this point.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2015
I love Apple pay when it works. The problem is that it doesn't work most of the time. I try it everywhere I go before reaching for my ATM card. I live in Los Angeles, CA.
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macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2014
Before chip cards people always told me that it wasn't any easier than just swiping. But pretty much everyone hates the user experience with the chip cards where you have to wait an indeterminate amount of time before removing it. Once more than 50% of the places a person routinely goes accepts it there's a good chance that that person will become a fan.


macrumors newbie
Feb 3, 2017
The problem is that we, the customers, don't know when checking out if ApplePay is accepted. It's a hassle if we try but it doesn't work. What is needed is to have more of those ApplePay logos readily visible at the terminal. I know I would use it more if I saw right away that it would work.


macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2016
NYC area
Theory on why Walmart and Target don't accept Apple Pay: They don't want to give money to Apple. Think about it, one of the reasons why retailers were trying to make CurrentC a thing is because they wanted to get around interchange fees that they have to pay to the credit card company and bank that issued the card. If they don't like interchange fees, I would only think that they don't want to pay any fees to Apple (and the fee to Apple is only like 0.15% according to the Financial Times, which is extremely lower than the 2% average interchange fee here in the US)


macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2011
Cards will be used long term just like checks. Apple pay is a feature but hardly the single replacement of credit cards.


macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2014
Minneapolis, MN
In all fairness, American consumers are notoriously slow to adapt to changes in payment methodologies.

Contactless and Chip and PIN systems have existed outside of America for well over a decade, yet so many American machines still have a Post It attached to them saying that the chip reader doesn't 'work.'

Our banks have kept us in the dark and moved at snails pace to adapt to changes in world banking, and it's pretty sad. After all a piece of VHS tape glued to a plastic card is a bit of a 1980s solution to things.

Heck, we're still using Imperial measurements over here, while the rest of the world adopted metric several decades ago.


macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2009
I use it and like it but it seems like in Canada most gas stations which have tap to pay at the pumps have now disabled that feature. I tend to get an error and have to take my card out and use the chip and pin instead, even when the pump clearly has the tap to pay functionality. I used to use tap at the pumps all the time but now it never seems to work anymore
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