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Apple Pay held back by lack of retailer support

Apple Pay has achieved significant traction with consumers, but is being held back by technical issues.

According to a new survey by Phoenix Marketing International, 11 per cent of all credit card-owning households and 66 per cent of all iPhone 6 owners in the US have adopted the service, but two-thirds of users have encountered problems at the checkout.

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The study canvassed the opinions of 3,000 credit card holders and discovered that approximately 12 million people are using Apple Pay. Out of these, 82 per cent link the platform to a credit card, 53 per cent to a debit card and 20 per cent to pre-paid cards.

However, it appears that retailers in the US could be losing sales by not having the technology required to accept Apple Pay transactions. Greg Weed, director of card research at Phoenix, believes that this is limiting the potential of the e-commerce service.

“The early-on transaction potential is being undercut by low repeat usage and lost payment opportunities,” he said. “The demand is there – 59 per cent of Apple Pay users have gone into a store and asked to make a purchase with Apple Pay. But so is the disappointment – 47 per cent visited a store that was listed as an Apple Pay merchant only to find out that the store they visited did not accept, or were not ready to accept, Apple Pay.”

The news will be concerning to Apple, which has witnessed rival e-payment services fail to catch the public’s imagination, such as Google Wallet. It will be keen to rectify any checkout issues quickly, to ensure that Apple Pay’s early momentum isn’t wasted.

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Apple Pay was launched in the US in October last year and managed to account for one per cent of all digital payments in the country during the first month following its launch. The service is not currently available in other markets, but a recently posted Apple job listing suggests that the e-commerce platform could be headed to the UK later this year.