Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Apple Pay said to be struggling in most territories

Apple Pay is allegedly struggling outside of its native US.

Many think of Apple Pay as a successful pioneer in the world of mobile contactless payments, but a new report suggests that it’s nothing of the sort.

Since its US roll-out in October 2014, Apple Pay appears to have performed well in its home country. However, in the five other countries it’s available in, Apple Pay has been beset by technical issues, consumer indifference, and resistance from banks.

What’s more, in global terms, Apple is a peripheral player in the mobile payment market.

Those are the claims being made in a recent Reuters report, which says that the vast majority of Apple Pay’s $10.9 billion usage last year came from the US. That combined figure is less than the annual volume of mobile payment transactions from Kenya, which is something of a mobile payment pioneer.

Perhaps more relevant is the fact that Apple Pay’s figures are insignificant compared to the total mobile payment market of China, where the service is actually available.

Of course, Apple Pay has only been in China for less than four months at this point. But with established local giants Alibaba and Tencent dominating a $1 trillion Chinese mobile payment market, Apple clearly has a formidable task before it.

What may be of most concern the famously service and quality-oriented Apple is the reports (albeit anecdotal) from Britain, China and Australia that suggest the Apple Pay service isn’t up to scratch.

In Australia, the payment machines of Bendigo Bank have developed “unforeseen technical issues” in accepting Apple Pay payments. Meanwhile in China, users have reported finding Apple Pay less intuitive than rival systems.

What’s more, in Australia, Britain and Canada Apple has met stiff opposition from key banks developing their own mobile payment systems. Barclays in the UK is one prominent example of this.

Talking of Britain, the fact that our payment card system is more advanced than in the US hasn’t done Apple Pay any favours. When there are 86 million contactless cards in circulation already, it seems many Brits fail to see the need to register them to a device that essentially does the same thing.

Related: Android Pay vs Apple Pay

Even the banks that have signed on to Apple Pay have often driven harder bargains than Apple had perhaps envisaged, which has slowed the global rollout of the service to a trickle.

It’s still early days for Apple Pay, of course, but those expecting a clean sweep of the mobile payment business for Apple would seem to be mistaken.

See what we made of Apple Pay’s new rival, Android Pay:

How have you found using Apple Pay since it hit your territory? Let us know in the comments

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.