How fast will UK consumers adopt Apple Pay?

By Chris Dawson July 13, 2015 - 5:46 pm

Apple Pay HmRumour has it that tomorrow, Tuesday the 14th of July, is the day that Apple will finally turn on Apple Pay in the UK – retailers have already popped up signs indicating that they can accept Apple Pay so the launch is imminent.

If you’re an Apple iPhone user and wish to use Apple Pay then all you need do is to wait – Apple will switch on the functionality remotely without you needing to perform a software upgrade (so long as you’re already using an iPhone 6 or higher and iOS 8.1 or later. From then on you can start using Apple Pay as soon as you add a credit or debit card (from one of the supporting card issuers) to Passbook.

Will Apple Pay revolutionise the UK mobile payments market? Unlikely according to both Forrester and Gallop.

A Gallop survey in the US where Apple pay is already live says “Right now, U.S. consumers aren’t that enthusiastic about digital wallets“. They also noted that “users who are fully engaged with a competing digital wallet, such as Google Wallet or PayPal, are very unlikely to switch to Apple Pay and plan to stick with their existing product“.

Forrester’s research shows that “43% of consumers trust PayPal, whereas only 27% of iPhone users said they would trust Apple Pay. That also falls behind trust for the mobile wallets of banks with credit card networks (40%) and Amazon (32%) for mobile payments”.

Forrester conclude that whilst “Adoption in the UK will be faster than in the US for a number of different reasons….. it is still the very early days. Faster adoption in the UK does not mean Apple Pay will scale quickly“. They added “Apple needs to create trust among UK consumers. They managed to do so in the US and no doubt trust will increase with the backing of the main banks (except Barclays). However, for now, iOS users are more likely to trust banks, credit card networks, Amazon and PayPal than Apple to provide a mobile wallet solution“.

Apple is going to work hard to persuade their users to start using Apple Pay and for those who live in London it’s probably going to be a relatively easy win due to their tie up with Transport for London. It’s undoubtedly easier to swipe your mobile which you’re probably checking your emails on as you walk to the Tube than it is to dig out your purse or wallet and extract a bank card whilst carrying your laptop bag and handbag at the same time.

Outside of London however it remains to be seen if people will happily swipe their iPhone in McDonalds rather than using an NFC enabled bank card or, heaven forbid, that old fashioned payment tool that we call cash.

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