Do we really want to pay for things in retail outlets with our smartphones instead of our credit cards? Both Google and Apple think we do but so far contactless mobile payments haven’t caught on in a big way at all. Reuters took a survey of 98 of the top 100 retailers as listed by the National Retail Federation and it found that many of them simply have no interest in supporting Apple Pay in the near future.

FROM EARLIER: Fresh iOS 9 leak claims iPads are getting a feature Android tablets have had for years

“While some of the country’s top merchants said they use and like the mobile payment system, fewer than a quarter of the retailers said they currently accept Apple Pay, and nearly two-thirds of the chains said categorically they would not be accepting it this year,” Reuters found. “Only four companies said they have plans to join the program in the next year.”

Why aren’t these retailers rushing to set up Apple Pay in their stores? They tell Reuters that it’s simply about a lack of consumer demand for the service, which is mostly the same reason Google Wallet went nowhere.

Of course, this is a chicken-and-egg scenario where people won’t use the service if it’s not adopted by a lot of retailers and retailers won’t offer the service if it’s not adopted by a lot of people. All the same, it’s pretty clear that mobile payments have a long, long way to go before they actually replace our wallets.

View Comments