Consumer Perspective on Apple Pay

Navigator Edition: June 2015
By: Hugh Gallagher and Frank Verhaegen

Despite its high-profile launch and much attention from the payments industry, recent primary consumer research by First Annapolis suggests that only one in five iPhone 6 users has actually made a purchase with Apple Pay.

This finding – based on a survey of 1,434 smartphone users conducted by First Annapolis in the first quarter of 2015 – suggests that, while there is much energy and excitement surrounding mobile payments, actual consumer adoption and usage still has a long way to go.

Apple Pay Awareness & Usage

Awareness of Apple Pay is quite high: three-quarters of the general survey sample indicated that they have heard of Apple Pay, and awareness jumps to almost 90% among consumers that have an iPhone 6. Of the nearly 400 survey respondents that have an iPhone 6 (and therefore have the ability to use Apple Pay), however, only 22% report having used it at least once. Among those that have tried Apple Pay at least once, only 18% say they use it regularly or frequently (i.e., more than once per month) (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Apple Pay Usage Frequency
(N = 398)

Figure-1_--Apple-Pay-Usage-FrequencySource: First Annapolis Consulting primary research and analysis.

Most active users have loaded more than one card; respondents reported an average of 2.5 cards loaded into Apple’s Passbook wallet. 81% reported loading a credit card, while 43% loaded a debit card and 10% loaded a prepaid card. Exactly half of the Apple Pay users reported loading only credit cards.

Figure 2: Passbook Wallet
(N = 86)

Figure-2_-Passbook-WalletSource: First Annapolis Consulting primary research and analysis.

Despite relatively few NFC-enabled terminals in the market supporting Apple Pay transactions, the physical point of sale remains the primary origination channel for Apple Pay purchases. Among those that have used Apple Pay, 90% report having made a purchase in-store, while only 40% report having made an in-app purchase.

Figure 3: Apple Pay Purchase Location
(N = 86)

Figure-3_-Apple-Pay-Purchase-LocationSource: First Annapolis Consulting primary research and analysis.

Apple Pay users tend to be younger, more affluent men: 46% of users were under the age of 35, 70% were male, and 33% reported annual household incomes above $100,000. Geographically, Apple Pay users were evenly distributed between the West, Northeast, and South, with considerably fewer users in the Midwest. [These demographics are consistent with the profile of consumers in an earlier First Annapolis consumer research study who wished they could pay for everything with their mobile phone.]

Apple Pay Satisfaction

While adoption and frequency levels for Apple Pay are low, those that have tried it have been generally satisfied with their experience. Among those that have used Apple Pay, half indicated they are “very satisfied” with their experience and 87% are at least “somewhat satisfied”. Perhaps most importantly – no consumer indicated any level of dissatisfaction. In noting this, however, it is important to realize that early adopters of Apple Pay may be more likely to view the product favorably as they may already be consumers of other Apple products and have a positive relationship with the company.

Figure 4: Apple Pay Satisfaction
(N = 86)

Figure-4_-Apple-Pay-SatisfactionSource: First Annapolis Consulting primary research and analysis.

This satisfaction may very well translate into preference: 21% of Apple Pay users indicate that mobile payments are their preferred payment method, compared to just 4% of the general population.

Implications & Conclusion

Apple Pay has had a moderately successful launch, with low consumer usage but positive customer experiences to date; the latter represents an important first step towards longer-term adoption. While early adoption of Apple Pay may not be as high as many expected, usage will likely continue to increase as the upcoming launches of other mobile payments solutions (e.g., Android Pay, Samsung Pay, CurrentC) expand the merchant acceptance base and broaden the availability and visibility of mobile payments in general.

For more information, please contact Hugh Gallagher, Principal,, specializing in Debit and Prepaid.

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