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Retailer Adoption of Apple Pay Quickens

We recently completed our third annual Apple Pay merchant adoption check. This involves checking the desktop websites, mobile websites, and iOS apps of a cohort of 100 of the top US online retailers for the ability to use Apple Pay at checkout.

We found that overall adoption continued to climb in 2019 across desktop, mobile, apps, and supporting banks, with overall adoption now ranging between 23% and 36% vs. 14%-24% last year. This excludes in-store point of sale systems, which dramatically increases adoption rates to 75% (reported by Apple). See last year’s results here.

Conclusion: Apple Pay adoption continues at an accelerating pace as the digital wallet slowly replaces the physical, but more importantly, it represents another sticky feature that makes users more likely to remain loyal to Apple products.

  • Desktop adoption jumped to 23 of 100 sites, up from 14 (64% y/y).
  • Mobile increased slightly to 28 of 100 vs 24 last year (17% y/y).
  • iOS apps were 36 of 100 vs. 24 last year (50% y/y).
  • Supporting banks increased to 4,250 globally, up 57% over last year.

Other Apple Pay Stats

On quarterly earnings calls, we are given incremental updates on transaction growth and adoption from Tim Cook. On the Jun-19 earnings call, Cook announced that Apple Pay is completing nearly 1 billion transactions per month (more than double y/y) and is live in 47 markets, up from 24 markets last June. We estimate 18% of all Apple Pay transactions occur in the US. Apple reported 25% of transactions in the US in Jun-17, and since then, Apple has increased the number of countries from 16 to 47.

In January 2019, Apple announced that Apple Pay is accepted at 74 of the top 100 US retailers and is available at 65% of all US retail locations. This includes in-store point of sales systems, so it differs from our check and shows that in-store adoption is outpacing online and in-app adoption.

Our Adoption Estimates

We estimate, based on survey work as well as the growth in transactions, countries, locations, and supporting banks, that 48% of global iPhone users have enabled Apple Pay. This is up from 33% a year ago in Sep-18. That implies there are currently 441M Apple Pay users, up 8% sequentially and 51% y/y.


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