Apple Pay beats Starbucks to US mobile payments crown

Apple Pay beats Starbucks to US mobile payments crown

Apple Pay has overtaken Starbucks as the most popular mobile payment app in the US, according to figures from eMarketer.

Starbucks has long held the top spot in the US mobile payments market, tempting users with special offers, discounts and order ahead queue-jumping.

However, the gradual spread of contactless terminals across the US retail market has been a gift to Apple. According to Digital Trends, Apple Pay is expected to be available in 70% of US retailers by the end of 2019.

The strong uptake has prompted eMarketer to revise its figures upward for 2019.

EMarketer principal analyst Yory Wurmse says Apple Pay is now expected to account for 47.3% of mobile payment users. Following closely behind, the Starbucks app will have 25.2 million users this year, 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,” says Wurmser. “The same trend should also help Google Pay and Samsung Pay, but they will continue to split the Android market.”

Total spending via proximity mobile payments will approach $100 billion this year in the US, he says. That means that on average, a user will spend $1,545 per year using contactless mobile payments, up more than 24% over last year.

Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 25 October, 2019, 12:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

In my post Apple Puts Banks Squarely At The Center Of Mobile Payments that I wrote the day after Apple Pay was launched in 2014, I listed five reasons why I thought Apple Pay was the most frictionless digital payment and poised to become the #1 digital payment. It has taken longer than I expected but at last Apple Pay's performance has resonated with my prediction. 

In some ways, Apple Pay's accomplishment is even more noteworthy than it sounds, considering that it's just a payment method whereas Starbucks is really an ordering-cum-loyalty app masquerading as a mobile payment.