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Apple Pay makes PayPal pay the price in mobile payments

Stuart Lauchlan Profile picture for user slauchlan April 21, 2015
Apple Pay puts pressure on PayPal - and that's before anyone's got a Watch on their wrists.

Apple Pay
Pay by Watch?

It’s early days of course, but some interesting data from 451 Research suggests that Apple Pay is taking a lead over PayPal in the mobile payments space.

A survey, conducted in March by 451 Research’s ChangeWave service, consisting of 4,168 respondents primarily based in North America, looked at planned use of mobile payment applications.

The main findings:

  • One-quarter (25%) of smartphone owners say they are likely to use mobile payment apps over the next 90 days, up 6% year-on-year.
  • Smartphone owners using iOS (34%) are more than twice as likely to use mobile payment apps compared to Android (16%), BlackBerry (13%) or Windows Phone (5%) users.
  • A total of 45% of respondents plan to use Apple Pay compared to 28% who say they will use PayPal.
  • Two thirds of respondents - 66% - say they are very satisfied with Apple Pay having used it, compared to 45% for PayPal.

451 research
Source: 451 Research

Jordan McKee, 451 Research’s Senior Mobile Payments Analyst, says Apple Pay isn't just putting pressure on PayPal but making waves in the wider mobile payments space:

The introduction of Apple Pay has catalyzed a wave of strategic moves across the mobile payments ecosystem.  In the wake of Apple’s entrance, Google and PayPal have made significant acquisitions, while players such as Facebook and Samsung are rolling out payment products to remain competitive.

Moving forward, the pace of activity will only accelerate as vendors look to capitalize on the growing contactless payments infrastructure and secure a foothold in this rapidly evolving sector.

451 2
Source: 451 Research

All of this pre-dates the Apple Watch of course. But the survey found that if you’re planning on buying an Apple Watch, you are twice as likely (54%) as all other smartphone owners to use mobile payment apps (29% Very Likely and 25% Somewhat Likely).

My take

It’s too early to declare any kind of real victory here of course - those of us outside the US still can’t even use Apple Pay! - but I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot of these sort of studies as the Watch slips onto wrists. The pressure is on PayPal.

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