In store payments via smartphones, referred to as mobile proximity payments, are on the rise and expected to generate close to 190 billion U.S. dollars in transaction value in the United States by 2021 with the number of users projected to reach over 60 million before 2020. With the rising adoption rate among smartphone users for mobile payments and mobile wallets, the mobile payment service Apple Pay was introduced by Apple Inc. on September 9, 2014 at the launch of the iPhone 6.
Apple Pay has become one of the most popular digital wallets among consumers in the U.S., allowing users to make payments using an iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad or Mac. Apple Pay allows users to make payments in person, in iOS apps, and on the web and is also among the leading mobile payment platforms with around 87 million users worldwide as of 2017, as well as the most commonly accepted mobile payment method by both small and middle sized businesses (SMB) in the United States.
In a January 2017 survey on adoption rate of selected mobile wallets, 34 percent of respondents indicated that they were registered with Apple Pay, second only to the Starbucks app. Apple Pay is also the second most popular mobile wallet app among affluent users in the U.S. behind PayPal. As of December 2016, 36 percent of North America retailers already accepted payment with Apple Pay. However, due to provisioning differences between countries, users may encounter acceptance issues when travelling to a different country.
In a survey on the level of familiarity with Apple Pay among U.S. internet users, 86 percent of respondents were aware of the digital payment service and 12 percent of them had made use of the service although traditional banking still has the highest level of overall consumer opinion regarding user-friendliness and trustworthiness among payment system providers. A total of 20.5 percent of respondents in a March 2017 survey stated that security concerns were the reason for why they had yet to try Apple Pay.
Apple Pay implements the Contactless EMV standards from the major payment card networks and should work at any merchant that supports contactless payments worldwide, regardless if they specifically advertise Apple Pay acceptance or if Apple Pay support is offered by card issuers in that country.
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