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Survey Says Retailers Still Doubtful About Apple Pay

Six months after Apple CEO Tim Cook declared 2015 as the “year of Apple Pay,” a recent survey conducted by Reuters found many retailers are not as easily convinced.

“While some of the country’s top merchants said they use and like the mobile payment system, fewer than a quarter of the retailers said they currently accept Apple Pay, and nearly two-thirds of the chains said categorically they would not be accepting it this year,” Reuters reported last week (June 5). “Only four companies said they have plans to join the program in the next year.”

Working from the National Retail Federation’s list of the Top 100 U.S. retailers, Reuters surveyed 98 brick-and-mortar retailers and two solely online merchants.

According to Reuters, the main reasons for retailers not accepting Apple Pay included low customer demand, insufficient access to the data generated in a transaction and the cost of technology upgrades required for accepting a mobile wallet.

These candid concerns seem to be in stark contrast to the perception of a high acceptance and use of Apple Pay discussed by Cook earlier this year.

“In just three months after launch, Apple Pay makes up two out of three dollars spent on purchases using contactless payments across the three major U.S. card networks,” Cook said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call in January. “In merchants who already accept Apple Pay, the rates are even higher.”

Despite the reservations of some retailers, Apple is holding tight to its claims of Apple Pay’s popularity amongst merchants. An Apple spokesperson recently told Reuters that the company’s conversations with the Top 100 merchants in the country showed half will accept Apple Pay this year, with more jumping on board in 2016.

Maybe time and increased adoption rates will help to ease the concerns communicated by many of the merchants interviewed in Reuters’ survey. Glowing testimonies from companies like Whole Foods, which has reported success with the mobile payment option, and recent reports of more major retailers like Best Buy taking on Apple Pay probably won’t hurt either.

As one of the first major retailers to publicly applaud Apple Pay’s role in igniting mobile payments in the brick-and-mortar setting, Whole Foods recently claimed to be Apple Pay’s leading retailer with 3.3 million transactions from the mobile payments app.

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