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Led by Whole Foods shoppers, Apple Pay accounted for 1% of digital payment dollars in November

According to a new report from research firm ITG, Apple Pay's first full month of service accounted for one percent of all digital payment dollars, an impressive statistic that suggests Apple's payments solution is being used by general consumers, not just early adopters.



ITG's numbers point to strong consumer engagement, with 60 percent of Apple Pay users making multiple purchases throughout November, reports MarketWatch. By comparison, only 20 percent of customers who recently signed on to PayPal's competing mobile solution used the service more than once over the same period.

The average Apple Pay user clocked about 1.4 transactions per week, the report said. Apple first activated the service on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets with an update to iOS 8 in late October.

On a per-merchant level, Apple Pay exhibited "stickiness" as customers who tried out the service continued to use it for future purchases at the same retailer about 66 percent of the time. After initially adopting Apple Pay, the average customer returned to the service for about 5.3 percent of all future card transactions and 2.3 percent of all future card dollars spent.

Research also assigned numbers to top Apple Pay retailers, including Whole Foods and Walgreens, which accounted for 20 percent and 19 percent of all Apple Pay transactions in November, respectively. Whole Foods was also responsible for 28 percent of Apple Pay dollars, while Walgreens generated a lower per-transaction value to account for 12 percent of total dollars.

McDonald's and Panera Bread trailed with 11 percent and 6 percent of transactions, while Subway rounded out the top five with a 3 percent share.

ITG labels Apple Pay a tangible threat to PayPal's dominant position in the mobile payments sector, something analysts alluded to in September. While PayPal has a head start, Apple's seamless integration with the iPhone's Touch ID fingerprint recognition system is considered to be a more convenient and secure option for consumers.

Apple Pay is currently limited to the U.S., but job listings in Europe and China suggest an international rollout is in the offing.