The latest survey from InfoScout and mobile payments website PYMNTS.com has found Apple Pay adoption to be stalled in the single digits, signaling strong headwinds for Apple's signature digital payments service.
Like many emerging trends, consumer adoption has been trailing corporate excitement — Google Glass anyone? The number of merchants accepting Apple Pay continues to expand week by week, most recently with Marriott's commitment to trialing the payments service at 11 hotels.
The data was culled from speaking to 1,188 users and focused primarily on in-store purchases rather than in-app Apple Pay integrations. The results found:
- Only 6% of those surveyed regularly used the service, up from 5 percent in November of last year.
- 9% have tried it but weren't using it, up from 4 percent.
- 85% hadn't even tried Apple Pay at all, which was up from 91 perecent.
- 20% expressed a preference for a different form of payment than Apple Pay.
- 15% didn't use Apple Pay either because they didn't have their phone on them (12%) or the specific merchant wasn't set up yet (3%).
For the six percent of users regularly using Apple Pay, the overall experience was a very positive one when compared to swiping a card:
- 70% said it was more secure.
- 73% said it was easier to use.
- 77% said it was faster.
- 79% said is was more convenient.
For those who tried Apple Pay but used it infrequently, the experience was rated across the board as nearly satisfactory as card swipe. For that cohort, Apple Pay seems to be a solution in search of a problem. In fact, 37% of those surveyed said that they simply see no reason to change from their current form of payment.
At the event announcing the results, InfoScout co-founder and CEO Jared Schrieber points to the lack of clear in-store signage to prompt usage of the device:
Muscle memory is a challenge. If I’m Apple, I’m dead-focused on point of sale and making sure there is a trigger to make sure I pull out my phone and not my card.
The results bore that statement out, with 31% of iPhone 6-carrying shoppers being unaware that they could use Apple Pay in store.
One of the more promising stats to be shared in the report is that 30% of those using Apple Pay have shifted loyalties to frequent businesses that accept the payment type. This is a good result for those businesses investing in the ability to take Apple Pay, as it gives another reason for a subset of customers to frequent the business. And these customers are likely to spend more, as those with iOS devices are generally more affluent.
The launch of the Apple Watch next April — which can act as a go-between for the iPhone 5 to use Apple Pay — could add a bit of upward pressure on these numbers as more users have access to the payment service than before.