Market Mad House

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


Is Apple Really the Top Payment App? The numbers tell a different story

Apple Pay is scheduled to launch in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Finland, Sweden, and Denmark in the next few days. That is supposed to bring the number of countries where the digital wallet is available to 20.

There are around 4,000 credit and debit-card issuers working with Apple Pay worldwide, Apple Vice President of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey told TechCrunch.

Bailey claimed that Apple Pay accounted for 90% of all mobile-contactless transactions where it is used. That number is an obvious exaggeration because Apple Pay is available in China, where Alipay and WeChat have far greater market penetration.

Is Apple Really the Top Payment App? The numbers tell a different story

Alipay claimed to have 450 million members in China in May 2017, TechCrunch reported. Perhaps TechCrunch’s reporters ought to read to their own website occasionally. Alipay uses a different technology to connect with cash registers; Quick Read or QR Code, which means Apple is not counting it.

Bailey might be saying that Apple Pay is the top near-field communications (NFC) app, which might be true. Apple Pay and Android Pay use NFC. Although, it is doubtful that its use is any greater than that of Android Pay.

Another potential problem is that Apple’s solution may only be top payment solution markets where QR code-based digital wallets are not available. The company has refused to enter India where QR-code rules the payment universe.

Why Apple is about to lose the Payment Wars

A major danger for Apple is that QR-code apps including Walmart Pay, Alipay, and Chase Pay are becoming common in the United States. Walmart (NASDAQ: WMT), America’s largest retailer, accepts QR code but not NFC-payment apps. QR-code might kill Apple Pay or force Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) to adopt it.

An even greater threat to Apple Pay is waiting in the wings in the form of Tez, a QR-code based payment app from Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG); the company popularly known as Google. Tez is currently only available in India; where it already has around five million users, aFaqs! reported. That’s chump change compared to India’s largest payment app Paytm which has over five million users. Tez is less than two months old, but its growth rate should scare Tim Cook to death.

Tez is a menace because it is Android-based; 53.3% of the mobile devices in the United States in June 2017, used Android according to Statista. That means Android Pay and Tez might have a built-in advantage Apple Pay cannot overcome.

Are half of all US Retailers really accepting Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is now accepted by 67 of the top 100 US retailers and 50% of all American retailers, Bailey boasted.

New brands accepting Apple Pay include the fading supermarket Albertsons; which is closing stores and pulling out of some states including Colorado, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bailey claimed. Note: the Albertson’s and Dick’s logos did not appear as supported retailers at Apple Pay’s website on 28 October 2017. Albertson’s used to appear in the coming soon list on Apple Pay’s website, but that list was quietly removed from the site earlier this year.

Bailey did not mention major retailers like Kroger and Walmart that are refusing to accept Apple Pay. It looks as if being an Apple public relations person is the easiest job in the world. Apple Zombie reporters will believe anything you say and report it as “news.”

Bailey also noted that Apple Pay Cash is still far from rollout because of undetermined technical issues. It looks as if Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is still far behind Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) in peer to peer (P2P) payments.

Apple still has a lot of work to do to get its payment solution widely used. One has to wonder how long reporters will believe these almost ridiculous claims about Apple Pay.