47% of Apple Pay users report problems at checkout

Andy Boxall | April 7, 2015

App Business

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A survey has discovered that Apple has created plenty of demand for its mobile payment system Apple Pay, but that demand isn’t being fulfilled at checkout for many customers. The research comes from Phoenix Marketing International, and is part of its Apple Pay: The First Four Months report, which includes feedback from 3,000 individuals.

Greg Weed, director of card research at Phoenix, said:

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“The demand is there: 59% of Apple Pay users have gone into a store and asked to make a purchase with Apple Pay.  But so is the disappointment: 47% visited a store that was listed as an Apple Pay merchant only to find out that the specific store they visited did not accept, or were not ready to accept, Apple Pay.”

Apple Pay has been available in the U.S. since October 2014, and 66% of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners have signed up for the service, or 11% of all credit card owning households, a figure which Phoenix says is “impressive.” Credit cards are the most popular payment option added to Apple Pay at 82%, while 53% have added a debit card, and 20% included a pre-paid card.

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The report places Apple Pay’s user base at around 12 million individuals, and notes that most are pleased with the service, and 23% expect to use it more over the coming months. However, the problems at checkout are hurting Apple Pay. Two out of every three users have an issue, ranging from the amount of time it takes to process a transaction, to lack of employee training when problems arise.

Greg Weed continued:

“Since Apple Pay is still in an introductory mode and the NFC acceptance network still has a long way to go, adding a continuously updated ‘local store directory’ to the Passbook app is a necessary, short-term product improvement. Posting a list of participating retailers on a website is not cutting it. In the last four months, 48% of users have paid with Apple Pay just one time and that’s not going to cut it either.”

Apple is expected to launch Apple Pay in other countries in the near future, including the UK and China, and is in the process of pushing through deals with local banks and credit card companies.

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