Apple Pay unable to fulfill user demand, survey shows

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Apple is losing out on essential business from Apple Pay, as a large proportion of users report problems using the new service to pay for goods in-store.

According to a survey by Phoenix Marketing, almost half of Apple Pay users visited a store listed as an Apple Pay merchant only to find that the location was not ready to accept the payment method, or had opted not to at all.

“They’ve created demand, but it can’t be fulfilled,” Greg Weed, Phoenix’s director of card research, told Bloomberg. “To make it more difficult to use or to create any uncertainty in your customer base as to whether it’s going to work is just going to slow it down.”

Phoenix Marketing conducted a survey of 3,000 users at the end of February, four months after the introduction of Apple Pay.

The survey found that the average Apple Pay user made 2.6 in-store transactions using the system in its first four months. Almost half used it to pay for something in an Apple store, while almost a third used it to pay at Macy’s, and 36 per cent used it at McDonalds.

The majority of users chose to pay with Apple Pay because they believed it to be faster than a normal credit card, while 60 per cent used it because it’s “new, stylish or cool”. Some 58 per cent thought using Apple Pay was safer than a credit card.

However, some 48 per cent of those surveyed thought that it took too long to record the transaction in-store, while 42 per cent said the cashier was unfamiliar with Apple Pay and unable to help them to use it. Some transactions have been counted twice, or posted incorrectly.

Apple Pay has already been hit by fraud, with criminals typing stolen credit-card numbers into Apple Pay and trying to make purchases with their iPhones.

Apple Pay is now supported by 2,500 banks in the US and 700,000 merchant locations, Tim Cook said earlier this month at an event unveiling the Apple Watch.

Many Apple users are eager to use the new payment service, with more than 800,000 Bank of America Corp. customers loading 1.1 million cards onto Apple Pay. JPMorgan Chase & Co has also reported “good growth” in the number of its card loaded onto Apple’s system, particularly when it comes to well-off, younger customers.

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