Apple Pay Problems at Checkout Hurt Overall Experience: Survey

Early numbers released by a couple of banks have already suggested that Apple Pay is off to an impressive start. The most recent study, conducted by market research firm Phoenix Marketing International (via Bloomberg), corroborates the high adoption rate but also points to the stress points of the system that need to be ironed out.

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After surveying 3,000 US mobile users, Phoenix found that the majority of iPhone 6 adopters (82%) have linked a credit card to Apple Pay, but 53% have linked a debit card, and 20% have included a GPR prepaid card in the new wallet.

It’s the conversion that needs to be ironed out: Everything is set for the “year of Apple Pay”, as 88% of those who have set up Apple’s digital wallet have also entered a store and tried to make a purchase. The problem comes at the checkout: 47% of the those visiting stores listed as Apple Pay merchants found that the specific store wasn’t yet ready to accept the new form of payment.

“Even though Apple Pay users generally give the scheme high marks and 23% expect to significantly increase use over the next 3 months, problems at check-out are downgrading transaction potential,” said Leon Majors, Senior Vice President at Phoenix. “Two-out-of-three Apple Pay users have reported a problem at checkout – mostly related to terminals not working or taking too long to make the transaction, inaccurate posting of transactions and the inability of cashiers to help buyers who needed assistance in using Apple Pay,” Majors added.

Apple Pay is currently supported by 2,500 banks in the US, and about 700,000 locations accept it (it all started with 220,000 locations four months ago). There’s no word of a Canadian launch yet, although rumours have suggested it could launch as soon as March. Given the silence around the matter, this could mean that TD Bank’s CIO was correct when he said last October that an Apple Pay launch in Canada is at least a year away.