Apple Says 35% of U.S. Merchants Accept Apple Pay

While speaking at the Code Conference today in San Francisco, Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey announced that 35% of U.S. merchants now accept Apple Pay, reports The Verge. She said that only 4% of merchants accepted the payment option two years ago when it debuted.

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Bailey says the new EMV chip cards are annoying customers and have helped drive adoption. "Once you figure out you have to chip, you wait a while, you wait awhile," she said before imitating the "BEEP" sound the chip reader makes when you can remove your card.

Apple won't be marketing Apple Pay to take advantage of the annoyance toward EMV chips, Bailey said, instead focusing on creating new partnerships with banks and merchants. "Knocking EMV is not necessarily the way to go," she said. "I think it's to increase acceptance and work with great partners."


The Cupertino company is also focusing on offering deals with retailers and banks. In November, Apple debuted exclusive holiday offers for those who use Apple Pay on the web. Promotions included one- or two-day free shipping with Adidas and 50% off a one-year subscription to The New York Times. Bailey notes that Apple has to work with partners for special offers because Apple doesn't collect transaction data, eliminating its ability to offer promotions by itself.

Bailey says that Apple is excited by the speed of the transition to contactless payments. However, Bailey says that the challenge for Apple is that they have to match the speed of the transition to EMV chip readers. Apple has to get retailers and merchants to adopt Apple Pay at the same time they adopt EMV chip readers so that consumers can more easily see the benefit of Apple Pay.

Bailey also teased what was next for Apple Pay, saying that the company is thinking about "everything in your wallet."

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Top Rated Comments

2010mini Avatar
98 months ago
I have to say.... it is such a pleasure using Apple Pay over the new chip card terminals. Holy crap they are slow!
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
7thson Avatar
98 months ago
Not in my podunk neck of the woods. Lack of knowledge of it in the stores that actually support it astounds me.
"Do you take ApplePay?"
"Huh? What's that?"
"Never mind, I'll just....yes, you do."
"Wow, that's cool!"
"Mmmhmm"
Still using a signature for verification, even with ApplePay sometimes. It's ridiculous, so I just draw a smiley face for a signature.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
98 months ago
This story personally resonated...

The EMV delay is real and super annoying. I use ApplePay whenever possible.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
avanpelt Avatar
98 months ago
35% of all U.S. merchants accept Apple Pay? I don't buy that figure. Maybe 35% of all U.S. merchants have the ability to accept Apple Pay (as in, they have compatible equipment).

The big variable is whether the merchant has actually enabled NFC functionality on their POS equipment. I'm looking at you CVS, Kroger, Publix, Costco, and on, and on, and on. All of those places in my area have POS equipment that is capable of accepting NFC payments, but NFC has not been turned on for whatever reason.

The Costco near my house completely overhauled their gas pump POS equipment recently and it has the tap to pay/NFC logo right on the pump and the light is flashing inviting you to use NFC. Imagine my excitement when I tried to use my iPhone 6 to pay for gas for the first time ever. When my iPhone wasn't bringing up my debit card as it should've been, I tried using my Apple Watch. Nothing there, either. The Costco employee came over and asked me what I was doing. When I told him I was trying to use NFC, he said, "Oh yeah, we haven't turned that on yet and I'm not sure we're going to". :rolleyes:
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FreakinEurekan Avatar
98 months ago
Bailey also teased what was next for Apple Pay, saying that the company is thinking about "everything in your wallet."
An Apple Pay condom?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
98 months ago
It's kind of incredible how the US is so behind on payments technology, with the most widespread method of payment being an easily cloned magnetic strip and still using god damn signatures to verify payment!

In Toronto, ApplePay is accepted at somewhere nearing 99% of merchants because most merchants that accept debit cards already have tap payments built into their debit terminals. I haven't touched cash or my debit card in months.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)