Just 6% of iPhone Users Pay In-Store With Apple Pay

Despite not many of us using Apple Pay, it still remains the most popular digital wallet for consumers.
Jack Turner

According to new research, Apple is struggling to get iPhone users to pay in-store with their iPhones, with only 6% choosing to do so.

The study shows that many of us still prefer traditional payment methods, even if we have access to a digital wallet, although the reign of cash also appears to be waning.

Despite the lack of uptake, payments by Apple Pay still amount to billions of dollars, and it is still the most popular digital wallet option for consumers.

Apple Users Not Using Apple Pay

The study, carried out by PYMNTS, shows that Apple has made little progress with its Apple Pay platform since its inception in 2014, moving from 5.1% take up in 2015, to 6.1% this year. The study polls 3,671 US consumers on their activity in the past 24 hours, and when and how they made payments in-store.

It seems that the king of in-store payments is still the credit card, which actually increased in use by 33.8% in the last two years, whilst cash declined by just over 20%. Debit card use declined slightly by 7.2%.

The authors of the study claim that Apple Pay's failure to launch is in spite of the much easier landscape it finds itself in in 2021 compared to 2015. Back then, only 19% of US merchants accepted Apple Pay, compared to 70% now. It also required a specific model of iPhone, either the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s, which in 2015, accounted for 39% of iPhone users. Today, 96% of iPhone users have a model that can make Apple Pay payments. Despite this, its increase in popularity has moved at a glacial pace.

Apple Pay Still Dominates Mobile Payments

If you think it sounds like bad news for Apple, then take a moment to consider other mobile payment providers, who can only be looking at Apple's 6% take up figure with envy. According to the research, Apple Pay was far and away the most popular option for those users surveyed that chose to pay with a mobile wallet in the past 24 hours. Just under half, 45.5%, of this group used Apple Pay.

The second most popular was PayPal, which accounted for 24.5% of mobile wallet payment, followed by Google Pay (10.3%), Samsung Pay (9.8%), and lets not talk about Walmart Pay (oh go on then, 4.8%).

What's even more interesting about the findings is that Apple Pay is one of the few digital wallets that showed any growth in this study. Compared to the same research last year, Apple Pay digital wallet payments leapt by around 17%. PayPal, Google Pay and Walmart Pay all declined. Samsung Pay did manage an increase of less than 2%, which sounds positive, until you look at the 2019 statistics where it was doing even better (14.1% compared to 9.9% this year).

Should My Business Accept Apple Pay?

If you're a business owner, you might be reading these statistics and wondering if it's even worth your time accepting Apple Pay as a payment method. We'd argue yes, for two reasons.

Firstly, the Apple Pay usage may look slim when distilled down into a statistic, but remember that it's a small part of a large pie. Apple Pay transactions in the US have accounted for an estimated $90 billion to date since 2015. Add to this the fact that its use is on the rise (even if it is marginally), and there's a compelling reason in itself.

Secondly, we'd argue that if a customer wants to pay with a preferred payment method, they should be given the option. Worst case scenario is that you could miss out on an important sale, and the potential customer may never return.

The good news is that accepting Apple Pay is easier than ever, especially if you use a Point of Sale system, with many platforms, such as Square POS, offering Apple Pay integration. To ensure you don't miss out on any customer payments in the future, we'd recommend checking out our top rated POS providers:

0 out of 0
Tech.co rating for retail
Score out of 5 based on Tech.co's independent market research.
Best for...
Tech.co's verdict to help you identify the most suitable choice for your retail business
Price from
The typical lowest starting price. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
iPad app
Is there a version of the software made specifically for iPad use?
Android app
Is there a version of the software made specifically for Android tablet use?
24/7 support
Get started

Vend POS

Square POS

Talech POS

Revel POS

Erply POS

Shopify POS

Clover POS

Epos Now



Best Retail POS

Best free POS System

Best value POS system

Best for customer relationship management

Best for small franchises

Best for integrating ecommerce

Best for those looking to expand from online-only operations

Large or growing businesses wanting an easy set up

Businesses with large, barcoded inventories

$99 per month

Free (but transaction fees apply)

$29 per month



$29 per month


$39 per month

Works with loads of third-party periperals

Sold by Square, separately or bundled. Works with most leading brands and has a great free trial.

Available through third-party vendors

Offers a preconfigured POS terminal with an iPad and tablet stand, a router, a printer, and a cash drawer.

Works with loads of hardware options

Sold by Shopify, but also works with iPads and Android tablets

Sells everything from full cash stations to mobile card readers

Works with lots of third-party peripherals

Sold by Lightspeed. NOT compatible with weighing scales.

About our links

Tech.co is reader-supported. Using Tech.co's comparison form, you can receive quotes from various suppliers, tailored to the needs of your business. If you enter into a contract with a provider, we may receive a payment for the introduction. Equally, if you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps Tech.co to provide free advice and reviews. It carries no additional cost to you, and doesn’t affect our editorial independence.

Did you find this article helpful? Click on one of the following buttons
We're so happy you liked! Get more delivered to your inbox just like it.

We're sorry this article didn't help you today – we welcome feedback, so if there's any way you feel we could improve our content, please email us at contact@tech.co

Jack is the Content Manager for Tech.co. He has been writing about a broad variety of technology subjects for over a decade, both in print and online, including laptops and tablets, gaming, and tech scams. As well as years of experience reviewing the latest tech devices, Jack has also conducted investigative research into a number of tech-related issues, including privacy and fraud.

Explore More See all news
close Step up your business video conferencing with GoToMeeting, our top rated conferencing app – try it free for 14 days Try GoToMeeting Free