Apple Pay Overtakes PayPal as Favored In-Store Mobile Wallet

woman paying with mobile wallet

Retail shoppers making purchases using digital wallets have shifted from favoring PayPal to Apple Pay, PYMNTS Intelligence reveals, and the latter only continues to gain share.

By the Numbers

A PYMNTS Intelligence survey of 1,730 consumers in April who had purchased non-grocery retail items in last 30 days examined how consumers are paying for those items.

chart, retail payment methods

The study found that, at the start of 2022, PayPal was retail customers’ digital wallet of choice, and it was not even close. However, in the time since, Apple Pay has taken the lead. The Apple-owned digital wallet briefly surpassed the former favorite online payments system in the first quarter of last year before falling behind again. However, as of the first quarter of this year, Apple is ahead, and in the second quarter, that lead only continued to widen.

As of Q2, 12% of consumers had made their last retail purchase using a digital wallet. Roughly 6% had used Apple Pay, and 4% had used PayPal.

The Data in Context

Indeed, Apple is seeing adoption rise.

“There are some categories that are growing very fast, … because they are relatively smaller in the scheme of our services business, like cloud, video, payment services. Those all set all-time revenue records,” Apple CFO Luca Maestri told analysts on the company’s last earnings call.

The rise in Apple Pay usage comes as consumers make more mobile purchases overall.

“In 2021, I had 37 Apple Pay transactions; in 2022 I had 40. In 2023, I had 119 transactions — and so far in Jan and Feb of 2024, I have completed nearly half the number of all my 2023 transactions combined. My use of Apple Pay is exclusively in-app and, until this weekend, using my Apple Card,” PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster wrote in a March feature. “The increase in use comes at the expense of PayPal and my bank account as funding sources — and as card on file at merchants I now shop using their app. … My increased use of Apple Pay reflects a shift in how and where I shop, which is increasingly using my phone/tablet and apps.”