Apple Pay is now the most popular mobile payment method in the U.S., according to estimates from eMarketer.
The mobile payment option is being used by 27.7 million Americans, making it more popular than the Starbucks app.
According to the research firm, usage of Apple Pay has been growing faster than expected and is predicted to reach 30.3 million users in the US by 2019, representing 47.3% of proximity mobile payment users.
Starbucks ranks second with 25.2 million users in 2019, representing 39.4% of proximity mobile payment users.
“Apple Pay has benefited from the spread of new point-of-sale (POS) systems that work with the NFC signals Apple Pay runs on,” said eMarketer principal analyst Yory Wurmser. “The same trend should also help Google Pay and Samsung Pay, but they will continue to split the Android market.”
Proximity mobile payment methods are growing rapidly with Apple Pay expected to be available in 70% of US retailers until the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Starbucks enjoys a market share of 40% among mobile payment users, but growth may be more limited because of the physical restriction to actual Starbucks stores.
Apple Pay users are able to pay with their phones across a wide variety of shops and establishments.
eMarketer predicts that total spend using mobile payment methods will reach $100 billion in 2019, with an average $1,545 spent per year per user. That’s an increase of 24% from 2018.
“With in-store payments, there is a need for convenience that proximity payments are increasingly fulfilling,” said eMarketer junior forecasting analyst Vincent Yip. “Although a growing number of millennials feel secure using payment apps, virtually all still find credit and debit cards equally convenient.”
The number of US mobile payment users is rising 9.1% to 64 million in 2019, representing almost a third of users.
In terms of demographics, users aged 25 to 34 years make up the largest group with around 50% (21.2 million) users. But older users (55 to 64 years) are catching up fast.