McDonalds is now reporting that Apple Pay is the payment mechanism behind 50 percent of all of its tap-to-pay transactions, which is more impressive than it sounds given the many years McDonalds has been accepting contactless payments. McDonalds has also been creative–although possibly impractical–about taking Apple Pay via its drive-thru. This is on top of recent reports that Whole Foods saw more than 150,000 Apple Pay transactions when it first launched and that Apple Pay traffic for Walgreens has doubled its mobile purchases and that all of this has given a huge lift to other NFC mobile wallets.
“Quite frankly, a lot of it has to do with the strength of the Apple brand and how much merchants and customers love how easy the experience is,” Denée Carrington, an analyst with Forrester Research, told The New York Times. “I’m not saying it’s changing the landscape overnight. But this has never happened with other mobile wallets.”
The Times reminds us that mobile payments—and especially NFC mobile payments—is still a tiny portion of U.S. retail purchases. “Toys ‘R’ Us, which supports Apple Pay in all of its 870 stores, said that although the number of mobile payments at its stores increased after the introduction of Apple Pay, there were still relatively few mobile payments because customers were still learning about the new technology,” the story noted.
The story also quoted Jan Dawson, a telecom analyst for Jackdaw Research, talking about the relatively few distributed Apple phones that can support Apple Pay and that meaningful impact is still several years away.
“Apple Pay is going to be a slow-burn success,” Dawson said. “Until then, it will be something of a novelty and something that most consumers use occasionally if they use it at all. That’s still enormous progress.”