Apple Pay Now Supported by 36% of Merchants in United States

Tuesday February 7, 2017 11:11 AM PST by Juli Clover

Apple Pay is now accepted by 36 percent of merchants in the United States, according to research conducted by retail consulting firm Boston Retail Partners and shared by NFC World. That's up from 16 percent last year.

Boston Retail Partners derived its information from a survey of more than 500 top North American retailers.


22 percent of retailers who don't currently support Apple Pay said they plan to accept the payments service within the next 12 months, while 11 percent plan to do so in the next one to three years. 31 percent plan to take a "wait and see" approach before implementing Apple Pay support.

PayPal was the next most widely accepted payments service at 34 percent, while MasterCard's PayPass came in third with 25 percent. 24 percent of merchants claimed support for Android Pay, while 18 percent said they accept Samsung Pay. Given that many of these technologies are all NFC-based and accepted anywhere NFC payments are available, it seems merchants may be referring to "official" support or may be unaware of the way contactless payments work.

"PayPal has been bumped out of its top spot in this year's survey, with Apple Pay now being accepted at 36% of the retailers participating in the survey. This is up significantly from 16% last year, and signals a growing acceptance by retailers and customers."

"This year, fewer retailers are adopting a wait and see approach for Apple Pay and PayPal -- likely because of the growing support from the payment software ecosystem and the acceptance for these mobile payments by the public."

During Apple's recent first quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple Pay usage had tripled over the course of 2016. Transaction volume was up more than 500 percent year-over-year, and according to Cook, more than two million small businesses now accept Apple Pay.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

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41 months ago

I'm still surprised by amount of retailers in my area who don't support Apple Pay. I don't use it as much as I thought I would, even with my Apple Watch. Maybe it's because I just prefer the plastic. Is plastic that old school?


Personally, now that the "chip" is everywhere, this was all the motivation I needed to start looking for Apple Pay.

Whoever designed the chip system should be ashamed. Way worse than swiping ever was.

I especially like the horrid error tone that plays to tell you to remove your card after a successful transition.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
41 months ago
What a flawed survey. PayPass is contactless, so merchants who accept PayPass also accept Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. There's no reason why Android Pay and Samsung Pay are less than PayPass.

They also left out payWave and expressPay (Visa, AMEX Contactless). They should have lumped contactless into one. They did Visa Checkout but left out the equivalent Masterpass.

It also is lumping in-person and online payments into one. Visa Checkout is online-only, Paypal and Bitcoin are mostly online, a bunch are both. And of course, there's a bunch of merchants who support Apple Pay online only, like Target.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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41 months ago
The problem is, most cashiers don't know that NFC payments are supported. Or, the machine is kept behind the counter, and they ask for your credit card to swipe it. Then there's all the times were the NFC part doesn't work randomly, and so you're stuck swiping were inserting the trip.There needs to be a lot more training at these retailers to update their staff. Hell, even at McDonald's, which was supposed to have Apple Pay since forever, I find that some of the staff are constantly shocked/surprised. The drive-through is even more of a pain, because they have to take out the credit card reader machine, and show it to me. Almost makes it easier to get my fat ass out of the car and walk inside the store
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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41 months ago
Samsung pay is accepted basically everywhere a regular credit card is accepted... This might as well have been a survey of how well marketed are these tech terms!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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41 months ago
Wasn't Samsung Pay designed with LoopPay technology and works almost anywhere? Thereby making it higher %?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
41 months ago

The problem is, most cashiers don't know that NFC payments are supported. Or, the machine is kept behind the counter, and they ask for your credit card to swipe it. Then there's all the times were the NFC part doesn't work randomly, and so you're stuck swiping were inserting the trip.There needs to be a lot more training at these retailers to update their staff. Hell, even at McDonald's, which was supposed to have Apple Pay since forever, I find that some of the staff are constantly shocked/surprised. The drive-through is even more of a pain, because they have to take out the credit card reader machine, and show it to me. Almost makes it easier to get my fat ass out of the car and walk inside the store


My 84yo mom has been using Apple Pay since 10/2014 and she has to school the kids on the register at McDonald's all the time. She says it's not the kids, it's bad training from managers. Some McDonald's even have trouble to get the POS terminal out the window because the cord is so short.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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