A Reuters survey of the top 100 US retailers found fewer than one quarter accept Apple Pay and nearly two-thirds said they would not be enabling the payment service before the end of the year. And only four of the retailers surveyed plan to accept Apple Pay in the next year.
Retailers are holding back on three main reasons, according to the survey: insufficient customer demand; lack of access to user data generated by Apple Pay; and the cost of installing the contactless technology underpinning the payment service.
In addition, some retailers said they were holding back for the launch of CurrentC, a mobile payment service that is backed by a consortium of retailing giants, including Wal-Mart. CurrentC is due to launch later this year, albeit on a limited basis.
Apple has been bullish on the prospects for its payment service. A spokesperson recently said about half of the top 100 US retailers will accept Apple Pay this year, and “many more” in 2016.
In January, CEO Tim Cook said Apple Pay was handling two out of three dollars spent on contactless payments. But contactless is relatively underdeveloped in the US compared with some other countries, so this is a relatively low figure.
However, Apple is thought to have made significant progress since the start of the year, not least because it is pushing retailers hard to sign up. The problem is that there are not enough compelling reasons for retailers to commit to the service.
Reports today suggest the service will hit UK shores later this summer.