After a year of celebrity following its release in late-2014, Apple Pay had to share the spotlight with Android Pay and Samsung Pay. Since then, the market has grown more crowded, with merchants, such as Walmart and Kohl’s, developing Pay options for their consumers to use at the point of sale.
However, according to Auriemma’s Q1-2018 Mobile Pay Tracker, usage of Apple, Google (formerly Android), and Samsung Pay has still managed to grow five points (to 34 percent) compared to Q1-2017. While this growth is a positive for mobile payments, a declining proportion of these users would recommend the service, signaling trouble ahead.
“The influx of new players makes the future of the Big Three uncertain,” according to Jaclyn Holmes, director of payment insights at Auriemma in New York City. “Being first to market hasn’t given Apple, Google, or Samsung a leg up on mobile payment newcomers. Providers who are able to deliver a more positive, reliable pay experience are most likely to encourage continued pay usage, while others may struggle in the years ahead.”
Problems at the point of sale can prevent even the most enthusiastic pay users from developing the habit of paying with their mobile device. This, in turn, lessens the opportunity and likelihood for recommending the service, according to Holmes. In fact, 42 percent of mobile payment users wouldn’t recommend the service, up 11 points compared to last year (31 percent). And because these sentiments are strongest among the most inactive pay users (87 percent very inactive vs. 6 percent very active), it’s clear developing the habit is key to the success of mobile payments.
This routine could be more easily developed with merchant mobile payments, which have more control over their pay experience and can eliminate many of the barriers that trouble Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay users, according to Holmes.
Merchants have an advantage over the Big Three: a guarantee of acceptance across all its stores and a uniform in-store experience. While most of Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay users think in-store acceptance has improved since these mobile payments launched, reported issues at the point of sale have remained the same compared to last year.
Among the issues are unfamiliar cashiers and an inability to complete the transaction come out on top, with a plurality of in-store pay users who quit and decide to swipe their card instead. All of this could potentially be avoided with a well-conceived Merchant Pay option.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Consulting Group (Auriemma) during January/February 2018, among 1,527 mobile pay eligible consumers. Respondents were screened to own an iPhone 8/8+/7/7+/6/6+/6s/6s+/SE/X or Apple Watch (in combination with an iPhone 5/5C/5S) – a Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Edge/Edge+, S7, S7 Edge, S7 Active, a Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge/Edge+, S6 Active or Galaxy Note 5, Note 7 or Note 8 – Gear S2 or S3 watch (in combination with an Android/iPhone smartphone) – and/or other Android phone with KitKat (4.4) OS or newer. All respondents also have a general-purpose credit card in their own name.