Apple Inc. Vs. PayPal In Point-Of-Sale Digital Payments

Apple Pay is still relatively new, but more and more banks and apps are now accepting it, and usage among iPhone owners in the U.S. may still be low, according to one firm. However, their survey results seem to clash with another firm’s survey which focused on PayPal.

Tracking Apple Pay adoption

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster released the latest results from their Apple Pay tracker, saying that in the last three months, the growth rate in how many banks and apps accept the digital payments system has accelerated. The number of banks has climbed from 515 in September to 930 now, Munster reports, so the infrastructure is quickly being built out to make the platform available at more places.  Here’s a look at the adoption curve for the iPhone maker’s digital payments platform.

Apple Pay

Also the number of apps has exploded from 70 in September to 131 now.

Apple Pay

He added that these developments were about as he expected last year as now the “vast majority” of banks that accept Apple Pay are in the U.S., while 15 are in the U.K., one is in Canada and one is in Australia.

The number of retailers accepting Apple Pay is growing much more slowly than it is for banks and apps, climbing from 89 in September to 98 now, including both current and coming soon retailers. However, Munster adds that some retailers that accept the payment service aren’t named, like, for example, taxies in New York. He estimates that more than 1 million U.S. locations in the U.S. accept it, amounting to about the same that accept Android Pay.

Apple Pay

More interested in Apple Pay than Samsung Pay

The Piper Jaffray analyst said his survey also indicates that more people are interested in Apple Pay than in Samsung Pay, according to Google search trends. However, it has also declined from when the service was unveiled in September 2014.

Apple Pay vs Samsung Pay

Just how popular is Apple Pay?

Interestingly, Munster cites a survey from Trustev that suggests only 20% of iPhone owners in the U.S. currently use Apple Pay. He’s not worried about this metric even though it suggests that the service is starting slowly because he thinks this was to be expected. Further, he expects adoption to take off “dramatically” in 2017 as he believes it will add other features later this year, like peer-to-peer payments and mobile in-browser payments. He thinks these features will fuel usage among consumers.

On Thursday, however, we reported that while PayPal remains the dominant force in digital payments, with over half of consumers preferring it, according to a survey conducted by Retale and cited by Deutsche Bank. The same survey indicated that Apple Pay is now the preferred service for 20% of U.S. consumers. Based on the Trustev survey, Munster is estimating Apple Pay usage at only 10% to 20% of compatible iPhones in the U.S., there could be a discrepancy here.

It is to be noted though that more details are needed on exactly what’s included in these metrics. There are a lot of factors that could change either one of them. Also just because consumers say they prefer Apple Pay over other digital payments platforms, it doesn’t mean that they actually use it, or at least we don’t know exactly how the 20% was calculated. Additionally, PayPal offers more services than Apple Pay through Venmo, Braintree and Xoom, and Apple holds the U.S. smartphone market in a stranglehold in terms of market share.

Retale’s survey indicates also that 43% of respondents said they had used a mobile device to make in-store purchase, while interest in doing this climbed to 61% during the holiday shopping season.

Graphs and charts in this article are courtesy Piper Jaffray.