Apple Pay usage remains steady despite decline in mobile wallets, survey says

Credit: Apple

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A new study suggests that actual Apple Pay hasn't grown much since the feature's debut, though the contactless payment system has remained steady during a broader decline in mobile payment usage.

The survey, carried out by PYMNTS, found that 93.9% of respondents with Apple Pay activated on their devices did not use it in-store to pay for purchases. That isn't much higher than the 5.1% of respondents in a 2015 survey.

This appears to be largely because of the lack of growth among mobile wallet usage. According to PYMNTS, mobile wallet use in-store declined 26.2% between 2019 and 2021. At the same time, credit card use increased by 33.8%.

Despite that fact, Apple Pay usage has remained steady, suggesting that users who did use Apple Pay continued to do so despite other mobile wallets declining.

Apple Pay also remains the largest mobile wallet system with 45.5% of the market share. As PYMNTS points out, it's just the fact that plastic cards — and specifically credit cards — seem to be winning out as far as consumer usage.

PYMNTS suggests that Apple Pay can either expand to Android to gain more market share or to convince more iPhone users to actively use the contactless payment platform when checking out in-store.

The survey is based on a study of 3,671 U.S. consumers between Aug. 3 and Aug. 10. It did not look at Apple Pay usage on the App Store or for online purchases.