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Year Of Apple Pay? Not Really, Despite Double-Digit Growth

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Apple Pay marks its one year anniversary this month and so far, it has seen continued growth in retail transactions since it became available in the United States on Oct. 20, 2014.

Apple CEO Tim Cook declared 2015 as the "Year of Apple Pay" and noted how the system earned a satisfaction rating of 98 percent from consumers.

"We're off to a great start and we are seeing continued, double-digit monthly growth in Apple Pay transactions since launch," said Apple in a statement. "And our customers love Apple Pay - a recent survey found satisfaction rates of 98 percent. Merchants love it too and tell us that the added security and convenience Apple Pay brings their customers is a huge benefit."

While it is true that Apple Pay received high consumer satisfaction rating and enjoyed double-digit monthly growth, the system actually makes up just 1 percent of all payment transactions in the United States. Moreover, a number of surveys reveal that the majority of consumers have never actually tried using the service.

Similar with rival payment systems such as Google Wallet, Samsung Pay and Android Pay, Apple Pay is also seeing a slow adoption and growth pattern.  

"People don't know why it is they'd use Apple Pay," said Jared Schrieber, CEO of the shopper-research company InfoScout. "They are satisfied with the current methods and they don't know how Apple Pay works."

Apple Pay is an innovative way for consumers to make their purchases using their devices. By simply tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch on a compatible device at cash registers, consumers can be assured of having a quicker and safer payment option for their purchases.

The slow adoption of Apple Pay, however, is attributed to several factors. These include its lack of promotion, the limited number of payment terminals in the stores and the system's exclusive availability to newer models of iPhones.

"Apple is just not even pushing it out," said CFO Vince Burchianti of Firehouse of America LLC.

According to Burchianti, the Firehouse Subs chain started to adopt Apple Pay in January. The service had so far comprised 2 percent of the business' total transactions.

In a survey that was released by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech in April, it was revealed that there are over 75 percent of users of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus who have not tried the service just yet. Two months later, a separate survey by InfoScout and Pymnts.com showed that out of the 1,500 surveyed subjects, only 13 percent said that they tried Apple Pay.

Still, the future remains bright for Apple and other mobile payment systems. Once the install base for tap-to-pay terminals becomes widely in place and more establishments accept the tap-to-pay payment system, the option of using one's devices to finalize a purchase will surely be off to a steady and continued growth.

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