Apple Pay struggling to take off

One year after the announcement of Apple Pay, the world has hardly been set alight.

Even less so the skies as, currently, only two airlines (JetBlue and Emirates) accept Apple Pay, whether that be while onboard or while booking via mobile devices. This is startling as many airlines accept a variety of currencies and payment methods, even postage stamps if you ask nicely.

However, there are signs of encouragement. Apple expects its new platform to be available at 1.5 million merchant locations in the US by the end of 2015. In addition, approximately 450 banks are signed up and ready to support Apple Pay. The only thing that Apple Pay seems to lack is users.

In January, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “Apple Pay makes up more than two out of three dollars spent on contactless payments across three major US card networks.”

This seems like a huge amount, until you realise that less than 10% of cards shipped in the US in 2014 contained contactless technology, according to the Smart Payment Association. So the contactless market is fairly small at the moment. When you add the fact that Apple Pay is only available on the latest iPhones or an Apple Watch, the likeliness of many people utilising contactless in general, never mind Apple Pay, shrinks. ‘Two out of three dollars spent’ may only amount to two dollars.

 There was nothing more specific said on the amount of users, only that adoption was strong. However, industry reports suggest that while iPhone 6 sales are strong, Apple Pay usage statistics are not. More people can use Apple Pay now, but less people are choosing to.

Meanwhile, the launch of Samsung Pay grows ever closer. While a date has not yet been set, it could be next year or next week, certain retailers are reportedly already advertising that they accept the unlaunched payment method. The introduction of more direct competition may cause Apple trouble yet.

In the meantime, some Android users can already access Android Pay prior to its launch on 16th September. Luckily, another rival, CurrentC (developed by MCX), has suffered a number of setbacks, including a security hack and a delayed rollout.

Apple won the top slot on the Payments Innovation Index in 2015, so it has proved that is innovative in the financial field. It still needs to prove if it is accepted.