Barely anyone is using Apple Pay in stores anymore

Using Apple Pay to pay for shopping
(Image credit: Apple)

The number of iPhone users paying for their in-store purchases with Apple Pay is much lower than the company would probably hope for.

New research released Tuesday by found that only 6% of shoppers with iPhones in the US had used the platform to pay for their in-store purchases at some point in the past year.

With consumers increasingly ditching cash during the pandemic due to health fears, the opportunity for contactless payment systems such as Apple Pay was there for the taking, but it appears many have yet to take the hint.

Apple Pay usage

Apple Pay was launched in September 2014, but adoption was initially slow to take off, with finding only around 5% of users were using the platform a year after this. This was also around the usage figure in 2019, just before the pandemic began.

The data shows that despite an apparent lack of demand, the number of devices capable of supporting Apple Pay has increased in recent years as the company has released more devices. With only 11.6% of consumers having a device capable of supporting Apple Pay in 2015, the figure has now risen to just under half (43.5%) in 2021.

Alongside this, the proportion of merchants able to accept Apple Pay has risen steadily in recent years, climbing from just 19.4% in 2015 up to 51.1% in 2019 - with this year's survey showing the figure has now reached 70%.

Apple Pay is not the only phone-based contactless payment solution around today, with Samsung Pay and Google Pay launching on Android systems offering similar capabilities. Many banks now only offer contactless-enabled debit and credit cards to their customers, offering a much quicker payment experience than systems such as Apple Pay, which often need consumers to have their device in their hand, and authenticated with a FaceID or fingerprint scan. also noted that despite the low usage figures, Apple Pay is actually the most-used mobile wallet in the US, with 45.5% of users saying they'd used the platform within the previous 24 hours. This was a much higher proportion than PayPal (24.5%), Google Pay (10.3%) and Samsung Pay (9.9%).

More changes may be coming soon after Apple announced an online event for September 14, where the company could be set to launch the hotly-expected iPhone 13.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.