Although Apple Pay has only be live for just over a week, the service is already disrupting the mobile wallet space. It spurned adoption at ballparks in preparation for the World Series, and has really raised awareness among consumers and retailers across the U.S. In fact, the service has already worked so well that merchants like Rite Aid and CVS have turned off their NFC readers entirely due to a conflict of interest.
Speaking at the WSJ.D Live event last night, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple Pay saw more than 1 million activations in less than 72 hours. That’s more than “the other guys,” according to Cook. Mobile wallets are nothing new, as Google Wallet has been around for a few years now. But Apple Pay has really helped to educate users about the possibility of mobile payments. The iPhone maker has a seamless and easy to use system that’s definitely pointing to an exciting future, and it sounds like iPhone users are slowly getting on board.
Of course, there have been millions and millions of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 models sold already, so when you look at it through that lens, 1 million isn’t all that much. However, in the grand scheme of things, that’s a pretty incredible number for a foreign (at least to iPhone owners) concept. Having more NFC readers across the U.S. is not only good for Apple, but Google Wallet users as well.
The struggle right now is getting merchants on board with Apple Pay. There are a lot of big names, Rite Aid and CVS included, backing a competing service called CurrentC, and as long as that’s around, Apple Pay is going to find it pretty difficult to get inroads to some of the major U.S. retailers. I mean, the Cupertino company’s service has barely been available and already these retailers are turning off their machines because it works so well.
Walmart, which is the biggest backer of CurrentC, recently said that it has the consumers’ best interests in mind by not supporting Apple Pay. Judging by how cumbersome and complicated CurrentC sounds, not to mention the service keeps your info and links directly to your bank account, I’m not so sure Walmart’s statement is true.