Apple Pay is far from becoming the most important payment solution buyers have at their disposal, but Apple’s NFC-based wireless payments app is finally doing something that similar products from the competition couldn’t do for so many years and that’s raise awareness about this particular type of payments alternative, while simultaneously significantly growing the number of users interested in trying it out, and giving an indirect boost to competitors.
According to The New York Times, the first numbers showing Apple Pay usage reveal the “first faint signs of a mainstream willingness to stray from cash and cards,” something Google and Softcard were not able to do on their own so far.
Recent data from Whole Foods reveals the high-end grocery chain has already processed more than 150,000 Apple Pay transactions. McDonalds said that Apple Pay accounted for 50% of its tap-to-pay transactions. Similarly, Walgreens revealed that mobile payments in its stores doubled since Apple Pay was launched a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, Toys R Us says that while Apple Pay contributed to an increase in mobile payments in its stores, these are still relatively limited, as buyers are still getting used to the technology.
Analysts believe Apple “has tapped into something,” and competitors also agree that Apple Pay will give the NFC payments business a boost.
“Quite frankly, a lot of it has to do with the strength of the Apple brand and how much merchants and customers love how easy the experience is,” Forrester Research analyst Denée Carrington said. “I’m not saying it’s changing the landscape overnight. But this has never happened with other mobile wallets.”
“Apple Pay has been a huge tailwind,” Softcard CEO Michael Abbott said, revealing that many companies no want to support the same technology in Apple Pay. The CEO also added that since Apple Pay was released, the Softcard app has been downloaded more often by new customers and used more frequently by existing members.
Google also confirmed that Google Wallet saw increased usage after Apple Pay was enabled on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.