September 10, 2014 – Washington, DC – Yesterday, Apple announced the release of Apple Pay, its new mobile payment platform. With the major credit card schemes already on board (American Express, Visa & MasterCard), and 220,000 merchants ready to accept this new, innovative form of payments, the question still remains: will consumers actually use it?
In an attempt to gauge consumer reaction to the new product launch, Mondato, a specialized consultancy focused on mobile financial services, commissioned a poll of 500 Americans, and asked them if they owned an iPhone 6 how likely were they to use it for in-store payments. Initial results indicate that Apple faces a challenge in convincing consumers of the use case for Apple Pay: barely 1 in 3 respondents indicated they “definitely” or “probably” would use Apple Pay if they owned an iPhone 6, though this figure rises to over 50% in the crucial 18-34 year old demographic. The limited potential for the Apple Watch to unleash payments was further underlined in a separate Mondato-commissioned poll, where the majority of a representative sample of Americans told Mondato that Apple Watch’s payments function would make “no difference” as to whether they would buy the product or not.
Commenting on the survey’s findings, Mondato’s CEO, Judah J. Levine, said,
“Apple's famed January 1984 television advertisement, broadcast only once during the Super Bowl, introduced its Macintosh computer to the world, with the slogan “Apple will introduce Macintosh, and you will see why 1984 won’t be like 1984.” The images of George Orwell's uniform dystopia were shattered by a call to shun conformity (through the purchase of an Apple computer). But when it comes to new technologies, particularly those in which great trust is invested, such as how people pay for things, becoming an accepted standard is essential to creating sustainable disruption and achieving scale. Mobile financial services have struggled to take off in most countries because the current system works and the proposed alternatives were just that, outsiders. However, now that Apple, simultaneously both innovator and old guard, has put its brand and muscle behind its own variant of mobile payments, Apple Pay, maybe, just maybe, will be enough to spur some buzz and uptake among its loyal base of customers, and catalyze a wider shift in the industry.”