How to Use Apple Pay, and Some Fascinating Apple Pay Usage Statistics

how to set up apple pay

With the new Touch ID integration on the MacBook Pro versions that were launched a few days ago, Apple, Inc. is showing us just how serious it is about Apple Pay. Surprisingly, not all Apple device users are comfortable with the digital wallet that is slowly changing the way online payments are being made, let alone knowing how to use it in the first place!

As such, we’ve decided to show you just how simple and safe it is to start using Apple Pay directly from your Safari browser, at a store and within an app on iOS devices. But first, here are some interesting stats and facts about Apple Pay usage.

Apple Pay Usage Statistics for 2016

Apple Pay transactions have grown to quite a degree, according to the company. At their recent quarterly earnings call, Apple disclosed that Apple Pay transactions grew by 500% between the July-September periods in 2015 and this year.

How’s that possible? The fact is, last year, people had to buy either the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S or the Plus variants to use Apple Pay; this year, it was made available on other devices such as iPhone SE, as well as iPhone 7 that was launched in September.

In addition, it’s also available on Apple Watch and iPhone 5 variants. This year they also made it available on the web through the Safari browser. Another factor is the launch of Apple Pay in new regions like Canada, Europe and a number of countries across Asia earlier this year.

These and other factors drove Apple Pay usage higher, specifically in September after the iPhone 7 came out. In fact, Apple says that September’s tap-and-pay transactions were higher than the total for 2015.

And now, the service has also opened up to Japan and Russia as of October, so usage is expected to be strong again during the current quarter. As of 2015 there were a total of $10.9 billion worth of transactions effected through Apple Pay. The company is yet to release that figure for 2016, but looking at the growth in transactions it’s likely that they’ve already well above that for 2016.

So we know it’s growing, and we know that there were over 12 million users of Apple Pay as of 2015. But how does that compare with the actual usage statistics? Here are some interesting graphs to show you how Apple Pay usage is growing.

Apple Pay usage statistics 2016 and 2015


Remember, this data is only for the United States and it was a sample of 4,000 Apple device users. So this is essentially mobile-only data. But it’s indicative of how few people actually use the service. As you can see above, as of October 2016 less than 1 out of 4 people who have access to it have ever tried Apple Pay.

But one encouraging aspect of this is that 1 out of 5 users use Apple Pay every chance they get.

Apple Pay usage statistics 2016 and 2015


But as you can also see, the number of people who use it every chance they get has dropped from 48% in March 2015 down to 22.4% in October 2016. Not good.

So on the one hand, less than 25% of people who have access to Apple Pay on their iPhones actually use the service, but of those, the majority use it every chance they get.

What Does Current Apple Pay Usage Imply for Apple?

That’s a significant set of statistics because it shows that, while people are initially hesitant to try it out, once they do it seems they start using it again and again. For Apple, that’s great news. The drop in regular usage, therefore, can be attributed, in part, to the number of devices that had Apple Pay on it in 2016 versus 2015, which is understandable.

The challenge for Apple now is to figure out ways to encourage Apple Pay usage on a regular basis, and that’s the whole reason they’ve brought it into Safari. That’s also why they’ve integrated it into the Touch ID feature of the new MacBook Pro 2016. They need more people to start using Apple Pay; it’s as simple as that.

How to Use Apple Pay

Part of the problem with low usage is the fact that a lot of Apple Pay users aren’t very clear about how the whole thing works. Not all of us are tech savvy, and this might be something Apple neglected to factor in when they rolled out the service to their users.

They’re well aware of the need for more users, obviously, and that’s why they’ve opened up the service to the web instead of keeping it within the smartphone ecosystem. But the majority of iPhone users are still on the fence about using this service in-store. As a result, they rarely use it online as well. Case in point: the survey also showed that 20% of the respondents simply “forgot” to use Apple Pay.

So here’s how to use the service at the store, on the web and within apps on iOS.

How to Use Apple Pay on iPhone or Apple Watch at the Store

Assuming you’ve already got the Apple Pay app, you need to first set up your credit and debit card information. You can download the app from the App Store in case you don’t have it, but newer iPhones have the app pre-loaded when you buy the device.

To set up your credit card or debit card information, go to Settings > Passbook > Apple Pay and enter the details. You can add multiple cards and then pick the one you want to use as default. Don’t worry, you can always choose another card at the time of payment if you want, but make sure all the cards you intend to use are recorded in Apple Pay.

That done, when you’re at the checkout counter at a store, look for a sticker or a sign with one of these symbols on it:


The first symbol means the store has the technology to accept Near Field Communication payments, which Apple Pay basically works on. The second is obviously a clear sign that they accept Apple Pay transactions.

Now, all you need to do is open the app, put your finger on the Touch ID icon and then hold the phone an inch away from the contactless reader. If successful, it will show you a checkmark (tick) symbol and the words “Done.” Your transaction is now complete.

Depending on the store, you may need to also enter your four-digit PIN or sign a receipt.

On Apple Watch, double-click the side button and then hold the watch an inch away from the contactless reader. A gentle tap will tell you that the transaction was successful.

How to Use Apple Pay on the Web with the Safari Browser

Where applicable, you should be able to see a “Buy with Apple Pay” or “Apple Pay” or just the symbol. Click on that, double-check your shipping/billing information and all of that, and then do the following:

On an iPhone or iPad, tap the Buy with Apple Pay or Apple Pay button/icon. On a Mac, just select that option and proceed to pay normally. You can also pay using an iPhone or iPad to process a transaction on Mac if that device is paired to your Mac via Bluetooth. On Apple Watch you can do the same thing by double-clicking the side button.

How to Use Apple Pay within an App

To make an in-app purchase, simple choose Apple Pay as the payment method during checkout. Everything else is the same as with store or web payments.

I hope this article has been helpful, and I urge you to try out Apple Pay at least once in case you haven’t yet done so. Of course, Apple, Inc. isn’t paying me to tell you this, but I’m a keen proponent of forward-looking technologies. I think digital and mobile wallets are indeed the payment mode of the future. With mobile internet usage continually on the rise and smartphones now at a high penetration level around the world, mobile wallets can only grow bigger from here.

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