Apple Pay ‘struggling’ outside the U.S.

Apple Pay is “struggling” to succeed outside of the U.S., according to a new article from Reuters. The report notes that Apple has made “only a small dent” in the global payments market, due in part to technical challenges, low consumer adoption, and resistance by banks to embrace the new payment technology. Despite being available in six countries as of today, following the recent large scale Canadian launch, Apple Pay’s usage last year only amounted to $10.9 billion, which the report notes is less than the annual volume of transactions in Kenya, a country that leads the world in mobile payment adoption. Although the bulk of that usage is said to be U.S.-centric, it’s worth noting that Apple Pay’s first rollout outside of the U.S. was in the middle of the year, with other countries such as Australia, Canada, and China coming on toward the very end of 2015, many with very limited participation from banks.
Data from iResearch suggests that Apple Pay’s global turnover is also a “drop in the bucket” in China when compared to Alibaba and Tencent, which processed an estimated $1 trillion in mobile transactions last year. The Reuters report also cites “anecdotal evidence” from Britain, China, and Australia which suggests that Apple Pay is popular only with “core Apple followers” but that the interest in it “varies significantly” among consumers, with some large retailers in Australia saying they have seen “very little uptake of the payment option” and a British research analyst noting that consumers in that country are already spending billions of dollars via contactless cards, and it’s difficult to persuade them to “take the extra step on their smartphone” when there’s no tangible benefit in checkout convenience. Similarly, Apple has met resistance from banks in Australia, the U.K., and Canada that have been building their own mobile payment solutions, and appear to be continuing to do so, likely taking on Apple Pay as merely one option.


Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.