Report: Apple Pay Not a Hit during Holidays

Dec. 8, 2014

Report: Apple Pay Not a Hit during Holidays Forgive media watchers (of mainstream and trade press alike) if they thought Apple Pay would immediately and thoroughly turn U.S. consumers into a nation of phone tappers. That the initial hype surrounding Apple Pay rests largely on its potential and not immediate reality was brought home on Black Friday and documented by shopping-analytics provider InfoScout. Despite the positive PR generated by the September launch, InfoScout’s research suggests iPhone 6 owners are not using the service in large numbers yet.

The company asked iPhone 6 and 6+ users on its panel of 170,000 U.S. consumers about how they are using the mobile wallet and found less than 10 percent had ever tried Apple Pay and less than 5 percent had used it on Black Friday to pay for something. Among the 9.1 percent of people who had tried the service, 31 percent said they didn’t use it on Black Friday because they were unsure if the stores they shopped in accepted Apple Pay. A full quarter said they forgot their phones offered the service and 19 percent said their phone wasn’t handy at the POS. Smaller numbers of consumers preferred the rewards they get from other payment methods, were worried it wouldn’t work or said it took too long.

Among the nearly 91 percent of iPhone 6 and 6+ owners who haven’t tried the service, nearly a third said they were unfamiliar with how it worked and 11 percent hadn’t even heard of Apple Pay.

“That means that nearly half of people who are eligible to use Apple Pay can still be influenced via informational outreach or educational advertising,” Ittai Barzilay, manager of the Consumer Team at InfoScout, wrote in a blog post about the topic. “We’ve already seen that most users who pay with Apple Pay find it to be easier and faster, but now Apple needs to better inform their potential user base of these benefits.”