News Feature | March 8, 2016

Apple Pay Dominates In The Contest For Merchants' Payment Solution Business

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Apple Payments

New poll finds Apple Pay is most desired tap-to-pay method.

Apple Pay is the digital payment solution of choice for two-thirds of merchants, according to a new survey of payment processing vendors from Piper Jaffray, while Android Pay and Google Pay were a distant second choice (18 percent), followed by PayPal (8 percent), and Samsung Pay (7 percent).

Projections say that 148 million people worldwide will use their smartphones to pay retailers this year, up 64% from 2015’s 90 million,  according to Juniper Research.

According to a new poll of merchant processing partners, Apple Pay has achieved dominant share-of-mind among retailers interested in using a digital payment system. Of the 44 percent of retailers that use or asked about digital payment systems, two thirds  want Apple Pay—twice as many as all other options combined.

Piper Jaffrey polled 407 value added resellers (VARs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) regarding their NFC payment terminal preferences.

That’s particularly bad news for PayPal, the longtime leader in online payments and former eBay unit that announced plans to introduce Near Field Communications capabilities to its mobile app only last month. PayPal came in third in the survey, with just 8 percent of respondents. Alphabet’s offerings, Android Pay and Google Wallet, had a relatively strong showing at 18 percent, and Samsung Pay garnered 7 percent.

"We believe it is telling that PayPal, who has been the leader in digital payments, so significantly under-indexed Apple Pay and Android Pay," analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to investors. Yet the survey is an encouraging sign not only for Apple, but for digital wallets in general. “Apple Pay’s significance is an engagement tool, which longer term is a must-have for any successful phone as cash slowly goes away.”

Those companies who are ready to accommodate that surge will help define mobile payments for years to come.