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Apple Pay Becomes Top In-Store Mobile Payment Service: EMarketer

Olga Kharif
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Apple Pay Becomes Top In-Store Mobile Payment Service: EMarketer

(Bloomberg) -- Following fits and starts, Apple Pay has become the top mobile payment method at brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S., according to research firm EMarketer.

Apple Inc.’s payment service will have 30.3 million users in the U.S. this year, compared with 25.2 million for the Starbucks payment app, EMarketer estimated.

Starbucks Corp. had been the leader, with innovative features that spurred adoption of mobile rewards and order-ahead services. But the coffee chain also let customers connect their Apple Pay accounts to the Starbucks app -- a move that other retailers followed. That increased the use of Apple Pay, EMarketer analyst Yory Wurmser said.

Upgraded retail point-of-sale systems have also made it easier to check out using Apple Pay by tapping iPhones on the pay terminals in stores.

“I don’t think Starbucks has done anything wrong, they are still growing at a healthy clip,” Wurmser said. “The acceptance of Apple Pay has just gotten more wide spread.”

In July, Apple said that Apple Pay was completing 1 billion transactions a month in 47 markets -- twice the volume from a year earlier. Adoption has been slower in the U.S., partly due to shoppers being used to swiping credit cards.

To encourage the switch from plastic, the company has integrated Apple Pay with other services that consumers use regularly, such as Portland’s transit system.

Total spending at brick-and-mortar retailers via mobile payments will approach $100 billion in the U.S. this year, and is on track to pass $220 billion by 2023, EMarketer estimated.

“There’s growing acceptance of the idea of mobile payments, and the people who already use mobile payments are using them much more often,” Wurmser said. “The transaction volume is increasing much more quickly.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Olga Kharif in Portland at okharif@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Andrew Pollack

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