We all knew this was going to happen - Google is struggling to get banks and retailers to accept payments via Android devices using a universally accepted method - NFC - but Apple is not on board so the acceptance is slow. PayPal was about the only one in the game up until now with 13-percent of retailers currently accepting it and a total of 31-percent claiming they will accept it by the end of 2015. However, in the short time that Apple Pay has been on the market, already 8-percent of retailers are accepting it and a whopping 38-percent claim they will be accepting it by the end of 2015. Boston Retail Partners surveyed the top 500 Retailers in North America to come up with the chart below.
Apple comes out with their Android sized smartphones and announces Apple Pay, and suddenly the retailers and banks take action. While Apple will definitely take over the top spot from PayPal this year, it is possible in the following years that PayPal will gain back their top spot as 62-percent of the retailers claim they will accept PayPal by the end of 2017 to Apple Pay's 56-percent. During Apple's earnings call last week, CEO Tim Cook claimed that they have heard strong support from retailers about implementing Apple Pay...he said, "Given that we launched in October, I'm unbelievably shocked, positively shocked, at how many merchants were able to implement Apple Pay during the holiday." According to Cook, USA Technologies will be adding Apple Pay support to wireless payment terminals on their 200,000 vending machines, parking pay stations, and more.
That is all nice and well for iPhone users, but what about the rest of us? The division of Mobile Payments via an App is looking for a good adoption rate. Only 5-percent are currently accepting payment from an app - I know I love my Starbucks App - however, by the end of 2014 that should jump to 18-percent and by the end of 2017, retailers are saying it will be up to 53-percent. Google Wallet comes in next on 3-percent acceptance rate now, 18-percent by the end of 2014 and up to 46-percent by the end of 2017. The only other significant payment method is Softcard which has a 3-percent acceptance now, 16-percent by the end of 2014 and 29-percent by the end of 2017.
It is amazing how the retail world revolves around what Apple does - these retailers must buy new point-of-sale (POS) systems, retrain employees, and still must pay a fee to the bank or credit card companies that are attached to the Apple Pay. We must also look at the fact that this study only included the top 500 (large) retailers - what about the other 6 million retailers in the US...nobody questioned them, so it could tip the balance in favor of non-Apple Pay systems. One thing is for certain, wireless, electronic paying is here to stay in our world of smartphones that most people take everywhere - I have not carried a physical wallet for the past two years.
If it takes Apple to drive the switch to electronic payments, so be it...but the vendors will also have to cater to the other half of the US that choose to use Android devices. In the end, the customer - be they an Apple or Android user - will be the ones to benefit from electronic payments. A few years back, experts said that we were headed towards a moneyless society and I think we are in the very middle of that push - electronic deposits, almost mandatory by most payroll departments and the government are taking care of the receiving end of our money. Debit cards, electronic bank payments, and now wireless transactions are taking care of the spending side - show me the money - it is gone.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you are happy to be involved in a moneyless society or do you still like to carry cash...as always, we would love to hear from you.