Survey: Only 6% of U.S. iPhone Users Who Set Up Apple Pay Actually Use It

Only six percent of iPhone users in the United States who have Apple Pay set up actually use the feature, according to a detailed study by PYMNTS.

Apple Pay Feature
Seven years after ‌Apple Pay‌ launched in September 2014, 93.9 percent of consumers with ‌Apple Pay‌ activated on their ‌iPhone‌ do not use it to pay for in-store purchases, meaning that only 6.1 percent do.

In 2015, the year following ‌Apple Pay‌'s launch, PYMNTS found that ‌Apple Pay‌ usage was just 5.1 percent among those that had the feature activated. This means that ‌Apple Pay‌ usage has only increased by one percentage point in six years.

The growth of ‌Apple Pay‌ in this time may be attributed to more contactless terminals in stores and more users having ‌iPhone‌ models with an NFC coil to facilitate ‌Apple Pay‌, rather than increased usage. Since 2015, the total amount of ‌Apple Pay‌ transactions at U.S. retail stores has increased from an estimated $5 billion to $90 billion this year.

In 2015, 19 percent of U.S. merchants were able to accept contactless payments, but in 2021, this rose to 70 percent. Likewise, in 2015, only 36 percent of consumers had an ‌iPhone‌ that offered ‌Apple Pay‌, but now 96 percent of users have access to the feature. ‌Apple Pay‌ support from banks has also ballooned. This has all led to the number of ‌Apple Pay‌ transactions growing overall, but it is still unused by the vast majority of those that have the feature enabled.

The main reason behind the lack of usage may be attributed to the continued dominance of plastic cards. In addition, in the time since ‌Apple Pay‌'s launch, banks have issued an increasing number of contactless debit and credit cards, which most users have preferred to ‌Apple Pay‌. According to PYMNTS, Apple has struggled to persuade users that ‌Apple Pay‌ is valuable enough to replace the more familiar plastic card, which does not require additional button presses and authentication steps such as Touch ID or Face ID.

"But to be successful, innovation must solve a problem, fix a source of friction or improve an experience that is so painful that consumers or businesses are motivated to switch," the report explained. The study suggested two options for Apple to bolster ‌Apple Pay‌ usage:

Path one is for Apple, the smartphone, to take share from Android to make the eligible Apple Pay pie bigger and to ride retail's continued growth. Currently, Apple has a 52% share of smartphones in the U.S., up from 47% in 2019. That seems hard, if not pretty unlikely.

Path two is for Apple to get more iPhone users to use Apple Pay in the store.

That's something that Apple has failed to do over the last seven years – including over the last two years, when contactless payment in-store was its (and every Pay's) oyster.

Seven years in, Apple Pay just hasn't lived up to its potential for transforming the point-of-sale experience in the store. Maybe there is a grand plan that goes beyond offering users discounts to use it at checkout. But unless it does, its past is likely to be prologue – and its usage will likely be stuck at around 6% of iPhone users who like to wave their phones in the store when they buy.

Nevertheless, of the various mobile wallets, such as Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal, ‌Apple Pay‌ has generally been the most popular with a 45.5 percent share of mobile wallet users in 2021.

PYMNTS's findings are based on a study of 3,671 respondents in the United States between August 3 and August 10, 2021 and identical studies from previous years.

Top Rated Comments

Starflyer Avatar
11 months ago
Seems low. I use it all the time. I wish I could Apple Pay at the pump.
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
karranz Avatar
11 months ago
I don't get it. Apple Pay is way more convenient than paying with a plastic card.
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nortonandreev Avatar
11 months ago
Apple Pay is one of the most convenient things I have ever used. People are mad ?‍♂️
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ersan191 Avatar
11 months ago

i get better rewards on my other cards for specific purposes.
Apple Pay is not the same thing as Apple Card
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jerry Raia Avatar
11 months ago
Maybe bringing back fingerprint ID would help.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexandr Avatar
11 months ago
i keep saying this: a LOT of places still don't have apple pay, even in big cities like new york or miami.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

tap to pay on iphone credit card

Stripe Launches 'Tap to Pay on iPhone' Beta Program Ahead of 'Spring' Release

Tuesday February 8, 2022 9:28 am PST by
Stripe today announced a closed beta program for Apple's upcoming "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature, with a sign-up form available on its website. The payment platform said the feature is "coming this spring" in the United States. Tap to Pay on iPhone will allow newer iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional...
taiwan railways administration

Taiwan Railways Administration Announces Apple Pay Support for E-Tickets

Monday September 6, 2021 1:21 am PDT by
Taiwan's Railways Administration (TRA) has officially announced support for using Apple Pay when purchasing train tickets with the service's e-booking mobile app. In a press release on its website, the country's railway operator said it was making the new "Apple Pay ticketing service" available from September 7 in order to improve convenience for passengers when booking tickets via the...
apple pay qatar qnb

Apple Pay Launches in Qatar

Tuesday August 17, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple Pay has launched for iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac users in Qatar, expanding Apple's regional reach for its mobile payment solution, according to a post by the QNB Group (via AppleInsider). Apple Pay in Qatar will first be available with the Dukhan Bank and QNB Group, which calls itself the "largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa." Other banks in the country can be...
tap to pay iphone feature

iOS 15.4 Beta 2 Adds 'Tap to Pay on iPhone' Framework

Tuesday February 8, 2022 10:51 am PST by
The second beta of iOS 15.4 adds code for the new "Tap to Pay" feature that Apple announced this morning. "Tap to Pay on iPhone" is designed to allow NFC-compatible iPhones to accept payments through Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, without requiring additional hardware. Tap to Pay on iPhone is enabled in the latest beta, but it does require...
apple pay

EU Plans to Hit Apple With Antitrust Charges Over Apple Pay

Wednesday October 6, 2021 7:26 am PDT by
The European Commission is planning to charge Apple with anticompetitive behavior with regards to Apple Pay, since it is the only payment service that can use the iPhone's Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip, Reuters reports. EU antitrust investigator Margrethe Vestager has been investigating Apple Pay since June last year, but the European Commission has since centered its focus on the NFC...
Apple Pay Feature

Apple Working on 'Apple Pay Later' Feature With Monthly Installments for Apple Pay Purchases

Tuesday July 13, 2021 11:51 am PDT by
Apple is developing a new pay later service that will let customers pay for Apple Pay purchases in installments over time, reports Bloomberg. Installment payment options will be available for all Apple Pay purchases, with the feature not limited to Apple products. The service is similar to Paypal's Buy Now, Pay Later feature, and internally, it's being called "Apple Pay Later." Apple is...
Apple Pay Feature

Australia Continues to Scrutinize Apple Pay Amid Push for Regulation

Monday August 30, 2021 6:31 am PDT by
The government of Australia is considering creating new laws that could more heavily regulate digital payments systems such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and WeChat Pay (via Reuters). An Australian government-commissioned report into digital payments systems has made a number of recommendations, one of which suggested actively regulating Apple Pay and other similar digital payments services....
mir russia apple pay

Apple Closes Loophole That Allowed Mir Cardholders to Use Apple Pay in Russia

Friday March 25, 2022 1:41 pm PDT by
Apple this week suspended its Apple Pay service for the Mir card payment system in Russia, effectively closing a loophole that had allowed Russians to continue to use the Apple Pay service. According to Reuters, Mir had remained connected to Apple Pay even after Apple restricted the use of the payments service in Russia on March 1 for Mastercard and Visa cardholders. Russia's National...

Popular Stories

airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
intel go pc justin long

Windows Laptop Makers 'Worried' About New MacBook Air Impacting Sales

Tuesday July 5, 2022 6:57 am PDT by
The upcoming launch of Apple's redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 chip has some Windows laptop manufacturers "worried" that sales of Intel-based laptops will be negatively affected, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. "A Wintel brand vendor pointed out that at a price point of US$1,000-$1,500, the MacBook Air will crowd out other high-end notebooks," the report claims, with...
European Commisssion

EU Approves Landmark Legislation to Regulate Apple and Other Big Tech Firms

Tuesday July 5, 2022 5:53 am PDT by
European Union lawmakers have approved landmark legislation to heavily regulate Apple, Google, Meta, and other big tech firms. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) were proposed by the European Commission in December 2020. Now, collected in a "Digital Services Package," the legislation has been formally adopted by the European Parliament and seeks to address...
macbook air m2 order date feature

Apple Announces MacBook Air With M2 Chip Available to Order Starting July 8, Launches July 15

Wednesday July 6, 2022 4:59 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the new MacBook Air equipped with the M2 chip will be available to order starting Friday, July 8 at 5 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple said deliveries to customers and in-store availability will begin Friday, July 15. MacRumors exclusively reported that Apple planned to launch the new MacBook Air on July 15, and the date has now been confirmed by Apple. Customers will be...
top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Lockdown Mode Feature

Apple Announces New Lockdown Mode on iOS 16 With 'Extreme' Level of Security

Wednesday July 6, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new Lockdown Mode coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac with iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. Apple says the optional security feature is designed to protect the "very small number" of users who may be at risk of "highly targeted cyberattacks" from private companies developing state-sponsored spyware, such as journalists, activists, and government employees. Apple...
siri remote 3

Apple Releases Firmware Update for Apple TV Siri Remote

Tuesday July 5, 2022 12:10 pm PDT by
Apple today released new firmware for the Siri Remote designed for the Apple TV, updating the software from version 9M6772 to 10M1103. The software is for the redesigned Siri Remote that was released in May 2021, aka the gray remote with the updated interface. In the Apple TV settings, the new firmware will display as 0x0070, up from 0x0061. There is no word on what's new with the Apple TV...