Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche


Apple Pay at Starbucks, Ace Hardware, 2,091 Banks

Apple Pay has finally come to Starbucks, over two years after its launch. The Starbucks logo is now clearly seen among the symbols of retailers accepting Apple Pay at the official website.

This does not mean every Starbucks location accepts Apple Pay. There is a strong possibility that Starbucks in stores that still refuse to accept Apple Pay: such as Kroger supermarkets and Walmart, are still not accepting Apple Pay. I imagine Apple Pay is only accepted at the standalone Starbucks stores, which is still a major expansion of the app.

One reason why Starbucks is accepting Apple Pay is that some of its competitors including convenience stores; Peet’s Coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s and Panera Bread, are accepting the app. It remains to be seen if other major Starbucks competitors; such as Burger King and Denny’s, start taking Apple Pay now.

Another major retailer Ace Hardware; which operates around 4,800 franchised stores in the United States, has started accepting Apple Pay. That gives Ace an edge over home improvement giants Home Depot and Lowes; neither of which accept Apple Pay. One has to wonder if this will force those retailers to start taking Apple Pay.

Interestingly enough KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is accepting Apple Pay but  three other major restaurant chains owned by the same company Yum Brands; Pizza Hut, A&W and Taco Bell are not. One has to wonder what’s up with that.

Apple Pay’s Impressive Progress

Even though it is still not welcome at a lot of retailers, Apple Pay has made some impressive progress a report card prepared by Loup Ventures. Some of the highlights of the payment app’s success include:

  • 30% of new iPhone buyers are activating Apple Pay.

  • Around 13% of active iPhone users have activated Apple Pay.


  • 2,091 banks in the United States are supporting Apple Pay, that’s an increase of 652 over July 2016 when 1,439 banks supported Apple Pay.

  • No count of the number of brick and mortar retailers that accept Apple Pay is listed.


  • Around 31% of the retailers in the Internet Retailer 100 accept Apple Pay.

I have to wonder why Loup Ventures did not count brick and mortar stores that accept Apple Pay. Perhaps its analysts don’t want to cast doubt on their thesis of Apple Pay “progress.”

Apple Pay at Overstock, Alipay could be coming to America

Another major online retailer, Overstock has finally started accepting Apple Pay. The online discount store had been a big holdout from Apple Pay largely I suppose because of its management’s distrust of the financial system.

Finally Ant Financial; the company behind Alipay might be preparing a major foray into the United States. News reports indicate that Ant is trying to buy the wire transfer company MoneyGram International, which is based in Texas.

Owning MoneyGram would give Ant access to thousands of locations across the United States where Alipay users would be able to get cash. This includes many Walmart and CVS stores. The combination of outlets to get cash and easy to use but secure Quick Read Code technology might give Ant an advantage in the payment app wars.