Overtaking the Starbucks mobile app, Apple Pay is growing faster than even the sharpest researchers expected.
Now the clear market leader, Apple’s app was used by more than 27.7 million U.S. consumers, last year. That’s according to eMarketer, which says that figure will increase to 30.3 million U.S. consumers, this year.
If accurate, Apple Pay would represent a whopping 47.3% of proximity mobile payment users in the United States.
Not far behind, however, the Starbucks app is expected to have 25.2 million users, this year, which would represent 39.4% of proximity mobile payment users.
What’s driving Apple’s success?
“Apple Pay has benefited from the spread of new point-of-sale (POS) systems that work with the NFC signals Apple Pay runs on,” eMarketer principal analyst Yory Wurmser suggests in a new report. “The same trend should also help Google Pay and Samsung Pay, but they will continue to split the Android market.”
More broadly, technology for proximity mobile payments is gaining traction, especially at frequently used retailers like grocery stores.
Citing data from Digital Trends, eMarketer notes that Apple Pay is expected to be available in 70% of U.S. retailers by the end of the year.
By contrast, the growth potential of Starbuck’s app is more limited because it can only be used at Starbucks stores.
Total spending via proximity mobile payments will approach $100 billion this year in the U.S., according to eMarketer.
That means on average, a user will spend $1,545 per year using proximity mobile payments, which is up more than 24%, year-over-year.
Overall, the total number of people using proximity mobile payments in the U.S. this year will grow 9.1% to 64.0 million. That represents almost 30% of all U.S. smartphone users.As with so many digital trends, U.S. adults ages 25 to 34 are the largest demographic in terms of absolute size and penetration of the proximity mobile-payment market. This group now accounts for 21.2 million users, or nearly 50% of all smartphone users in this age group.