Apple Inc. reported that Apple Pay is now available at more than 2 million retail locations including fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, Crate & Barrel and Au Bon Pain. The company underlined that the feature’s in-app purchase volume more than doubled in the last six months of the year 2015 compared with the first half. According to preliminary figures, mobile payments will increase to $620 billion in 2016 comparing to $450 billion last year.
Here are some more figures to evaluate the effort of Apple to extend its services all over the world. In October 2015 16.6 percent of people who own newer iPhones had tried Apple Pay, an increase from 9 percent in November 2014.
Several days ago online retailer Zappos.com added Apple Pay on its iPhone and iPad apps. “We’ve been getting requests from customers to use Apple Pay for quite a while,” said Aki Iida, head of mobile for Zappos. “It makes the customer experience easier, why not try it?”
Despite the popularization of mobile payments, most U.S. consumers still act cautiously. “The challenge for us and Apple as well is to see how much the feature is adopted – not just by retailers but also consumers,” Iida said. “Consumers have to change their mindset that this is a feature they want to use.”
Richard Crone, CEO of researcher Crone Consulting LLC, states that generally speaking, every large bank and retailer may have its own mobile wallet. They can either compete, or adopt Apple Pay. Thus Apple needs to get into as many of these wallets as possible. Iida confirms that he is thinking over working with Apple’s rivals, such as Google’s Android Pay.
Apple is promoting its payment services due to decline of iPhone sales as well. Last month the company forecast the first slumping sales in a decade. Remaining extremely profitable, Apple will get revenue of $50-53 billion for the first three months of the year comparing to analysts’ estimates of $55.5 billion.
Apple has recently informed that Apple card reader by Square became available both online and in retail stores for $49. “Retail has been a very good channel for us,” says Jesse Dorogusker, who oversaw the creation of the new reader as Square’s head of hardware. “It lets you be in front of more people in a different way.”
The new version of Square’s card reader lets anyone with smartphones and EMV credit cards accept payments. This small square-shaped device operates like any other NFC-enabled payment terminal allowing users to wave an iPhone, paired Apple Watch, or contactless EMV chip card near the reader for a few seconds to complete a purchase.
The news can crucially affect Apple Pay’s popularization. As for now, mostly big chains such as Walgreens and Whole Foods accept Apple Pay. Square remains to be one of the most widespread payment options for independent businesses and its new card reader works with Apple Pay. Thus Apple promotes the Square reader, and the Square reader promotes Apple Pay. Square can expand the target audience of Apple Pay by including small businesses.