New data from Juniper Research estimates that the number of contactless pay users, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay, will exceed 100 million for the first time during the first half of 2017, before surpassing 150 million by the end of this year. And Apple's mobile payment system is predicting to reach 86 million users this year.
According to the research group, the combined market share of Apple, Samsung, and Google (via Android Pay), increased from 20% in 2015 to 41% in 2016, as a proportion of total mobile contactless payment users. Juniper forecasts that this will rise to 56% by 2021, as the trio’s combined user base exceeds 500 million.
The research found that Apple Pay, and the alternative wallets that have followed in its wake, are set to establish themselves as the primary contactless mechanisms of choice in the US. However, the challenge facing Apple and its rivals is to ensure that the infrastructure is in place for consumers to make in-store payments.
“We believe that as contactless usage gains traction and consumers/merchants recognize the speed and convenience it offers, then, as in European markets, there will be a further and significant increase in availability at the point-of-sale,” says research author Nitin Bhas.
According to Apple, the proportion of U.S. retailers supporting Apple Pay rose from 4% in 2014 to 35% in late 2016. Apple Pay is currently available in 14 countries: Australia, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and USA. Apple Pay works with iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. When paying within apps, Apple Pay is compatible with the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro. It also works in macOS Sierra.