Apple Pay Leads Among Wallets but Lags in Total Purchases

Apple Pay

They grow up so fast. It’s hard to believe that the Apple Pay mobile wallet turns 8 this year, and equally hard to fathom why adoption hasn’t soared along with other pandemic use cases.

In the PYMNTS report “Apple Pay at 8: Connected-Tech Consumers Lead The Way,” we see that despite the fact that over three-quarters of major U.S. retailers accept Apple Pay and nearly half of all U.S. consumers have iPhones in their pockets, usage is languishing at just 2.4% of overall in-store purchases in the U.S., and the category itself is having ignition problems.

Using two surveys of 4,329 respondents both owning a smartphone and making at least one in-store transaction during the prior 24 hours, we found Apple Wallet leading rivals like Google Pay and Samsung Pay, but still representing a small slice of the payments pie.

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chart, mobile wallets

The good news for Apple Pay is that it leads all other mobile wallets, despite its small footprint in the overall payments landscape.

“Apple Pay continues to dominate the mobile wallet space at the physical point of sale. As of Q3 2022, Apple Pay captured nearly 44% of in-store mobile wallet transactions — a slight retreat from 46% in 2021, although the overall number of transactions is rising each year,” the study states. “Google Pay surged past its pre-pandemic high but still accounted for only 15% of mobile wallet checkouts. PayPal, which briefly surpassed Apple Pay in-store in 2020, plunged for a second year straight, dropping to 11%. Walmart Pay rebounded from its recent low, but usage remains well under 2019 levels, and Samsung Pay is less relevant than ever.”

chart, recent mobile wallet use

The research found that mobile wallet usage has bounced back to pre-pandemic levels after reaching a low point in 2021. Use among connected-tech consumers has recovered to 10.9% of in-person transactions, “significantly up from the 7.4% low point observed in 2021 but still shy of the 11.4% peak seen in 2019.”

“Connected-tech consumers most use mobile wallets for in-store checkout by a wide margin,” with 71% of consumers in this group paying by mobile wallets at least once in the prior 30 days, compared to 47% of mainstream-tech and 31% of basic-tech consumers.

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