Apple Pay hits 127 million user mark – falls short of expectations


Apple Pay has an estimated 127 million active global users – representing an increase of more than double the 62 million who used it this time last year, a new report claims.

While Apple hasn’t given exact figures for its mobile payments service, the figures are based on conclusion drawn by analysts at Loup Ventures, based on retailer reports.

The Analysts note that the total number of banks supporting Apple Pay globally increased by 41% over the past year to 2,707 banks. In addition, the report summarises details that Apple has shared about its Apple Pay adoption, including the fact that adoption and usage is greater outside the US than domestically (3 out of 4 payments are outside the US), and that more than half of US retailers now accept the payment method.

According to the report, around 89 million people using Apple Pay are based outside the US, while the remainder live in the United States.

Although 127 million users is certainly an impressive figure, it’s only around 16% of the 795 million active iPhone user base. That gives Apple plenty of potential growth without having to sell a single extra iPhone, but it’s also slower than many at Apple expected.

During Apple’s recent shareholder meeting, Tim Cook admitted that, “Mobile payments have taken off slower than I personally would have thought if you asked me sitting here a few years ago.”

A big hurdle that Apple Pay is getting merchants to accept the payment technology, as well as teaching iPhone users to use the service. That’s particularly tough in markets like China, where even Apple recently started accepting rival Alipay in stores.

The annual Apple Pay review found year over year growth has been impressive with active users more than doubling (source: Apple), transactions more than tripling (source: Apple) and online merchant adoption increasing by ~50% (source: Loup Ventures).

The analysts remain optimistic that Apple Pay will gain widespread adoption over the next 3-5 years given integration OS and iOS makes it the easiest to use digital wallet.

  • Loup checked the Top 100 retailers in the US for Apple Pay compatibility for online (desktop, mobile and apps) and found the growth of adoption has been high (9 to 85%), but off of a small base.
  • The total number of these retailers supporting Apple Pay online now ranges between 14-24% (details in table below).
  • The number of banks globally that support Apple Pay increased in the past year by 41% to 2,707 banks.
  • Loup believe there are 127m global active Apple Pay users, up from 62m a year ago. This represents 16% of the active iPhone base.
  • Loup does not have any data on Apple Pay P2P (Venmo competitor), which launched in December of 2017.