Apple Pay service has witnessed a decent start with Whole Foods telling the New York Times that it received 150,000 transactions in the three weeks following the launch of the service. Though the number is not extraordinary, it is substantial for a single store to garner such numbers from a brand new service with limited device support.
Apple Pay making inroads
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Other merchants have not yet released their statistics, but they are indicating that the numbers are decent. According to the report, Walgreens’ mobile payments increased two-fold, and McDonalds is receiving half of its mobile payments through Apple Pay now.
Apple Pay was released on October 20th as a part of the iOS 8.1 update, and since then the service has been in swing with McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) and Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) seeing most number of Apple Pay payments. At McDonalds’ 14,000 U.S. locations, 50% of all tap-to-pay transactions were done with Apple Pay. Walgreens, with its 8,000 drugstores, says the number of mobile payments has doubled since Apple Pay was enabled.
Some merchants are seeing little to no change with the release of the payment service from Apple. Toys “R” Us said that there has not been any notable surge in its mobile payment numbers, and cash and credit options are still more popular than Apple Pay.
Rival services noticing surge
The success of Apple Pay cannot be ensured just yet, and much depends on the additional hardware support and cooperative retailers. The payment service from the iPhone maker is not showing startling numbers, but it is encouraging greater use of other tap-to-pay services such as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Softcard, as both the services noted that they have seen a surge in the usage over the past few weeks.
The NY Times report noted that a lot of service usage depends on the strength of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) brand and the easy to use features of pay service. Apple Pay service needs NFC feature, but a substantial part of the population in the United States does not have NFC enabled mobile, which makes it difficult to garner a whole lot more NFC payments. However, with a growing number of customers buying the iPhone 6, companies are now ready to offer the payment feature.