Sorry, Tim: A study conducted by anti-fraud startup Trustev finds that almost 80% of people with iPhones that can use Apple Pay (the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus) still haven’t even tried it yet.
Naturally, it’s still early for Apple Pay, given that only the latest iPhones can support Apple’s electronic wallet service. But if one thing was clear from Tuesday’s Apple Watch presentation, it’s that the geniuses at Cupertino have placed some high hopes on the payment platform — hopes that probably haven’t yet been fulfilled, given that CEO Tim Cook didn’t mention any specific Apple Pay numbers while on stage, even though the service is now supported by more banks and retailers.
In its study, which surveyed 1000 iPhone owners in the US, Trustev found that 79% of iPhone 6/6+ users just hadn’t tried Apple Pay at all. The other 21% still used cash or cards most of the time — 2.1% of people who gave Apple Pay a shot are self-described “super-users,” who pay with it 10 or more times a week, but 80% of those adventurous spirits use it three times a week or less. And 30% of those who gave Apple Pay a shot now use it never, according to the study.
“It also points to a broader issue: maybe paying with cards is just not that painful. For years, techies have been pitching e-wallets to consumers, but they don’t seem interested. Even after Apple has launched by far the most elegant version to date, consumer adoption is light,” writes Trustev CEO Pat Phelan in a blog post.
The people who do use Apple Pay say they use it because it’s cool (40%) and because it’s convenient (63%), but didn’t care about security or the ability to not take your wallet out. That’s bad news, because both security and not having to fish around in pockets are both key parts of Apple’s sales pitch for using Apple Pay on the Apple Watch.
This study comes with the usual caveats, insofar as 1,000 iPhones is a small sample set compared against the millions in the wild. And maybe the Apple Watch will change everything, as Apple promises. But it’s enough to give some credence to the idea that Apple Pay just isn’t catching the world on fire.
One more thing: Those who used Apple Pay the most, per Trustev’s study, were middle-aged: Specifically, 35-54, split pretty evenly between men and women.
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