Apple leads in mobile wallets use but not in total purchases

Mobile wallets - Payment with iPhone

The iPhone’s payment app has been around for 8 years, and adoption has been rising quickly.

The Apple Pay has been available in the mobile wallets category for 8 years as of 2022 and while it did have a slow start – as did many others in that category – but it has started picking up.

In the United States, adoption of all phone-based digital payment methods has been slow.

The report “Apple Pay at 8: Connected-Tech Consumers Lead the Way” issued by PYMNTS showed that even though more than three quarters of major retailers in the United States accept mobile payments including Apple Pay, and nearly half of American consumers carry iPhones, usage is strikingly low. In fact, only about 2.4 percent of iPhone owners use Apple Pay for in-store purchases in the US. The entire mobile wallets category is having a hard time taking off in that important market.

Mobile wallets - Paying using Google Pay

That said, Apple Pay is the option that is leading the way in terms of usage, compared to its leading rivals such as Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Those latter two still represent only a small percentage of the total. Despite the small usage Apple Pay has, it is by far the leader in that regard.

Mobile wallets simply aren’t taking off at the rate that was expected, even with the pandemic’s impact.

Many experts had expected that the pandemic and its contactless trends would cause people to turn to their devices in droves to make payments in stores. That said, while there was certainly substantial growth with mobile wallets, it was far from what this transaction category needs to be considered mainstream.

“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,” said the PYMNTS study. “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.”

The research has found that while there was some advantage for mobile wallets during the pandemic, usage has drawn back again to pre-pandemic levels in the United States.

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