Apple CEO Tim Cook has declared 2015 'the year of Apple Pay' as the consumer tech firm reported the biggest quarterly profit ever made by a public company on the back of record iPhone and iMac sales.
Apple reported a net profit of $18bn (£11.8bn) in its fiscal first quarter after selling 74.5 million iPhones in the three months to 27 December, beating all analysts expectations.
With iPhone sales going off the charts, the company was able to bask in a strong 'first innings' for its integrated payments app, Apple Pay, which now accounts for two-thirds of all contactless transactions across Visa, American Express and Discover cards.
About 750 banks and credit unions have signed on to accept Apple Pay, although the company has so far had limited success in getting merchants to implement the system. Nonetheless, those that have are reporting staggering growth, with Apple Pay taking an 80% share of mobile sales at Panera Bread, and Whole Foods reporting a 400% per cent rise in mobile payments since its launch.
Says Cook: ”I’m actually unbelievably shocked, positively shocked at how many merchants were able to implement Apple Pay in the middle of their holiday season."
Looking ahead, Apple announced a deal with USA Technologies to accept Apple Pay at 200,000 vending machines across the country, and talked up forthcoming implementations for the Apple Watch and Safari browsers.
As for the international roll-out, Cook said: “There is not a day that goes by when I don’t get a note from a business outside the US wanting Apple Pay.”