Apple Pay Usage Declined on Black Friday Over Last Year Per New Study

In a new study performed by InfoScout, nearly half as many possible Apple Pay customers used the mobile payments system on Black Friday in 2015 as they did in 2014 on the same sales-laden holiday (via Quartz). The study polled a total of 300,000 people to gather the information, discerning the time around March 2015 as Apple Pay's peak, with another understandable resurgence in the fall surrounding the launch of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

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The research organization found that Apple Pay was used for only 2.7 percent of total possible Apple Pay-eligible transactions on Black Friday this year. This is opposed to 2014, where new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus customers used Apple Pay in 4.9 percent of eligible transactions. As InfoScout points out, simple early adopter curiosity -- Apple Pay was barely a month old at the time -- could have helped in the service's early-on surge in numbers.

InfoScout's survey didn't track in-app payments made on Black Friday through Apple Pay, however, so customers who shopped on mobile devices in apps like Target and Best Buy were not included in the results. 300,000 participants is a large sample size, but given the popularity of mobile and online shopping, there's a good possibility that a large swath of Apple Pay's numbers were subsequently excluded from the poll.

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Despite the tepid usage of Apple Pay on Black Friday this year as reported by the survey, Apple has been in full force behind the year-old service. With its launch in new countries like Canada and Australia, the company has continued to educate its customers on Apple Pay's various features with new guided tour videos. Other stores have launched loyalty rewards support and the service is available at more places than ever thanks to Square's $49 NFC and Chip reader.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Top Rated Comments

iSRS Avatar
113 months ago
Well, here is the thing with this survey. November 2014, the iPhone 6/6+ were the only devices with it, and it was only a month old (3 months for the phone). Today, there are 14 months worth of iPhone 6/6+ sales, Apple Watches, and iPhone 6s/6s+ sales. In other words, a larger pool of "eligible" transactions.

What are the raw numbers? How many transactions? Did it go from 100,000 to 1 million, but represent a decline % wise? And what defines an "Apple Pay" eligible transaction? Every transaction made at Apple Pay accepting stores, regardless if the customer has an Apple Pay ready device?

Lots of questions, very light on the facts, and the facts provided tell us almost nothing.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iSRS Avatar
113 months ago
It's beyond frustrating because I can never remember which stores take it and which don't.

All these places have the NFC readers but only like 10% take Apple Pay. Even places like Best Buy, not all of their stores take it.

Bad job by Apple not getting this out to more customers. Why hasn't Starbucks signed up? Why haven't any grocery stores signed up?

I've only used it at BB, GameStop, McDs, and Panera Bread.

There's a pizza place that has Apple stickers everywhere saying they take it, but they don't have an NFC card reader. How is that possible? How can I report this to Apple?
I am sure that it is the retailers. Here in the States, effective 10/1, the retailers are now responsible for fraud if they don't support the "chip and pin" technology. I would say that 50% of the places I go? Still don't have terminals that accept the chip.

Of those that do? Their units largely also support NFC payments. But....

...not only do they have NFC turned off, they have tape and post-it notes covering the spot to insert your chip card. It's beyond ridiculous, but retailers, much like government agencies (schools, etc), are horrible at implementing technology, and often too cheap to hire the right people to do so.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gsmornot Avatar
113 months ago
I am sure that it is the retailers. Here in the States, effective 10/1, the retailers are now responsible for fraud if they don't support the "chip and pin" technology. I would say that 50% of the places I go? Still don't have terminals that accept the chip.

Of those that do? Their units largely also support NFC payments. But....

...not only do they have NFC turned off, they have tape and post-it notes covering the spot to insert your chip card. It's beyond ridiculous, but retailers, much like government agencies (schools, etc), are horrible at implementing technology, and often too cheap to hire the right people to do so.
Chip and pin would be nice but that is in Europe. We have chip and sign which is only more secure in the transmission. Its no more secure at the store level and its slower.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
utwarreng Avatar
113 months ago
For some reason I envisioned that when October 2015 hit it would be like a switch was flipped, and all of these retailers would have updated terminals with NFC and chip support. Since October I've found very few additional retailers who support NFC unfortunately. Whenever it's available, I always use Apple Pay. Primarily for the security, but also because of the great offer from Discover (10% cash back through the end of 2015 and double cash back rewards for the first year of membership).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
113 months ago
I've been really disappointed with retailers these past few months.

The laws changed so that most of them felt it was a good choice to replace their terminals with ones that could support chipped cards.

I expected that most of them would get terminals that support NFC at the same time. It just seems like a no brainer - if you're updating your terminals anyways, why not get all the features you'll likely want within the next decade? Now you'll just have to go through all the same hassle again in a few years.

Anyways, if it were feasible for me to make all my payments with Apple Pay, I'd ditch my credit card. As is, I find it's normally easier to use my credit card than Apple Pay (because I have a wallet case.)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OllyW Avatar
113 months ago
I use it wherever I can. There are loads of UK retailers supporting Apple Pay but most are still restricted by the £30 limit which means it's not an option for a lot of my shopping.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)