Apple Pay fails to draw in the crowds

Has the most valuable company in the world finally passed its peak?

by Jack Torrance
Last Updated: 28 Aug 2015

It seems Apple Pay, which was launched with much fanfare in the UK last month, hasn’t enjoyed the kind of adoption rate many were expecting.  The service, which lets people pay for things using contactless technology on their phone instead of having to fish out a debit card, launched in the US in October but has so far failed to tickle the fancy of most iPhone users.

Today a survey by financial technology website PYMNTS.com found that just 13.1% of American iPhone 6 owners used the service in June, down from 15.1% in March. ‘These stats seem to throw a bit of cold water on the notion that Apple Pay will be the rising tide that lifts all NFC mobile payments boats,’  said Karen Webster, the website’s CEO.

The news comes as a fresh blow for the Cupertino tech giant, whose share price has come off the boil over the last couple of weeks amid fears that it is passed its best – based partly on speculation that Apple Watch hasn’t notched up the kind of sales figures that were anticipated of it.

Not every aspect of Apple’s business is looking terrible though. Apple Music, its answer to Swedish streaming site Spotify, has been piquing consumers’ interest. Launched just over one month ago, the service has already signed up 11 million trial members. That’s small-fry compared to its rival’s 75 million users (20 million of whom have a paid-for subscription), but it’s not a bad start.

Apple’s remarkable ascendance over the past few years has been the result of selling more and more iPhones, iPads and other hardware, but that only be a source of growth for so long. If it wants to maintain that pace then it will need to make more cash from services like payment processing and media streaming. Viewed through that lens, today’s figures leave something to be desired.  

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