Apple Pay one year later: Gaining ground with U.S. merchants

When Apple Pay made its market debut one year ago, 200,000 merchant sites across the U.S. jumped in with both feet to provide their customers all the speed, convenience and enhanced security that the payment industry’s newest digital wallet promised.

In January Apple CEO Tim Cook called 2015 “The Year of Apple Pay” in an address to investors, yet adoption of Apple Pay – while steadily increasing throughout the year – has been slower than expected.

“According to the most updated data from Apple, 700,000 merchant sites nationwide now offer customers Apple Pay as a payment option,” said Amy MacMullen, Senior Product Manager for CO-OP Financial Services. “This number definitely shows good progress, but falls short of the market saturation that many had expected Apple Pay to have by now.”

Research conducted recently by Gallup found that 21 percent of iPhone 6 owners used their devices for Apple Pay transactions, and only 6 percent of consumers surveyed by Gallup say they are very likely or likely to start using Apple Pay in the next 12 months.

While there are many potential reasons why Apple Pay adoption is taking longer than anticipated, lack of public awareness is probably not one of them. According to Gallup, 65 percent of consumers are at least somewhat familiar with Apple’s digital wallet, a number that jumps to 89 percent among current Apple Passbook users.

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