A new report from CNBC has revealed that Apple Pay usage lags behind in the US.
The mobile payment platform launched in the United States in October 2014 and has since rolled out to dozens of countries around the world, to varying degrees of success.
In countries such as China and India, for example, economies have been heavily reliant on cash, and so moving to a mobile payment platform such as Apple Pay makes sense and reduces the burden of carrying around a wallet full of coins and notes.
In the United States, however, credit and debit cards are favored over cash, and the move from a card to Apple Pay doesn’t have the same pull as it does to those moving from cash.
Gerard du Toit, head of Bain’s banking and payments financial services practice, said: “China and India have been very cash-based economies — that has a pretty high hassle and friction factor.
“Mobile payment is a dramatic improvement versus having to manage a whole bunch of cash. A big driver of mobile adoption is just how big improvement is it.
“When it comes to the U.S., there is a good enough solution there already.”
According to the report, China is the country with the highest adoption of cashless payment methods such as Apple Pay.
Its popular WeChat Pay feature has an 84% adoption rate, followed by cash at 64% and Apple Pay at 17%.
Over in the United States, however, credit cards are the most popular payment method at 80%, closely followed by cash at 79% and then debit cards at 59%.
Physical checks are still popular, ranking at 53%, followed by PayPal which has a 44% usage rate.
Apple Pay is behind at just a 9% usage rate in the United States, then followed by Google Pay, Facebook Messenger, Venmo and others.
CNBC quotes Will Graylin, founder of LoopPay, as saying that “merchants need to hit a certain threshold before even early adopters will consider switching entirely to mobile,” and that “there needs to be at least 90% of acceptance to get even 1% of consumers to change a habit.”
Earlier in the month, Apple launched its Apple Card to compete with other credit card companies in the United States, and there’s no word on the product being released in other markets just yet.
Perhaps the company has realized it needs to work harder to get Americans to spend through Apple and is hoping its Goldman Sachs partnership will help.
Are you surprised to see Apple Pay lagging behind cash and other payment methods in the US? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and check back soon for more Apple news.