More than 18 months after Apple Pay took the United States by storm, the smartphone giant has made only a small dent in the global payments market, snagged by technical challenges, low consumer take-up and resistance from banks.
And its global turnover is a drop in the bucket in China, where Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent dominate the world’s biggest mobile payments market – with an estimated $1 trillion worth of mobile transactions last year, according to iResearch data.
Anecdotal evidence from Britain, China and Australia suggests Apple Pay is popular with coreApple followers, but the quality of service, and interest in it, varies significantly.
Apple Pay transactions were a fraction of the $84.5 billion in iPhone sales for the six months to March, which accounted for two-thirds of Apple‘s total revenue.
Apple has leveraged its huge U.S. user base to push Pay, but has met resistance in Australia, Britain and Canada where banks are building their own products.
“Payments in general is such a complicated system with so many incumbent providers that revolutionary change like this was not going to happen very quickly,” said Joshua Gilbert, an analyst at First Annapolis Consulting.
The upshot: Apple has rolled out Pay in a dribble, adding countries and partners where it can – Hong Kong is expected to be added next – resulting in an uneven banking landscape with users and retail staff not always sure what will work and how.
In Australia, where more than 60% of all card transactions are through contactless cards, reception has also been muted. A spokesman for one large retailer said he had seen “very little uptake of the payment option” in his sector. He didn’t want to be named as he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
Three months after the China launch, users on online forums complained that using Apple Pay, even at popular fast-food outlets, was not as seamless as local services such as WeChat, Tencent’s messaging and mobile commerce phenomenon.
(Source: Reuters )