It may be too early to tell. But it appears that Apple Pay is off to a promising start. It is not mind-blowing by any measure, but still initial signs suggest that Apple's mobile payment system is not doing bad at all.
As reported by the New York Times, a few of the retailers and business establishments that supported Apple Pay are already releasing statistical information on the recently released mobile payment system. These include Whole Foods (the US foods supermarket chain), McDonald's, and Walgreens.
Whole Foods had told the New York Times that it had already processed over 150,000 transactions facilitated via Apple Pay. As for McDonald's, it disclosed that Apple Pay made up 50 percent of all tap-to-pay transactions. The popular fast food chain supports Apple Pay in its more than 14,000 restaurants in the United States alone. Walgreens, which accepts Apple Pay in all its drugstores nationwide, has also claimed that mobile wallet payments have increased two-fold since Apple Pay was launched about three weeks ago.
Apple Pay is far from being dominant. But the early data from these retailers does show that people are willing to try something new, one that offers an alternative option to the usual cash or credit card system.
And as popular as Apple Pay is starting to be, its success (albeit modest for now) is helping generate more awareness for other mobile payment systems that have already existed even before Apple's.
Softcard, a competitor in the mobile payment system field, has stated that downloads of its Softcard app have increased since Apple Pay was released. Google, which also offers its own system, Google Wallet, also claimed that usage of its mobile payment platform has also improved after Apple Pay was introduced.
Of course, not all retailers who support Apple Pay are overly impressed. Toys “R” US has adopted Apple Pay in all its 870 stores, and it says that, overall, the number of mobile payments are still relatively few. This may be due to the fact that customers may still be in the process of learning about the new payment system. Still, Toys “R” US was ready to admit that the number of mobile payments in its stores have definitely increased since it started supporting Apple Pay.
It may be a long time before Apple Pay achieves mainstream-level success. One possible reason is that the mobile payment system is still limited to only two devices: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Then there's the retailer side: there are still many US establishments that do not support Apple Pay or any mobile payment system for that matter. Still, there are positives: more and more people are becoming aware that secure mobile payment systems exist, even if some of these people are still a bit hesitant in using these systems frequently. We're not quite there yet, but we're getting there, and that's something to look forward to.
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