NEW YORK — Apple Pay is now the market leader in payment applications.
According to an eMarketer report, 27.7 million American used Apple Pay to make a purchase last year. This marks the first time that a generic mobile payment app that is not specific to a particular retailer has overtaken the Starbucks mobile app in popularity.
In 2019 Apple Pay will have 30.3 million users in the United States, representing 47.3 percent of proximity mobile payment users. The Starbucks mobile app will come in second with 25.2 million users, representing 39.4 percent of proximity mobile payment users.
Google Pay came in third place, followed by Samsung Pay.
"Apple Pay has benefited from the spread of new point-of-sale (POS) systems that work with the NFC signals Apple Pay runs on," said Yory Wurmser, eMarketer principal analyst. "The same trend should also help Google Pay and Samsung Pay, but they will continue to split the Android market."
Technology for proximity mobile payments is gaining traction, particularly at frequently visited retailers such as grocery stores, eMarketer reported. Recent digital trends research found that Apple Pay is predicted to be available in 70 percent of U.S. retailers by the end of 2019.
Other findings of the report show:
Total spending via proximity mobile payments will reach nearly $100 billion in the U.S. this year.
On average, a user will spend $1,545 per year using proximity mobile payments. This is an increase of more than 24 percent compared to last year.
The total number of people using proximity mobile payments in the U.S. this year will increase 9.1 percent to 64 million, representing nearly 30 percent of all U.S. smartphone users.
Use of proximity mobile payments is growing among all age groups, but adults ages 25 to 34 make up the largest demographic in terms of absolute size and penetration, with 21.2 million users, or nearly 50 percent of all smartphone users in the age group. The fastest growth is occurring among Americans ages 55 to 64, but from a smaller base.
"With in-store payments, there is a need for convenience that proximity payments are increasingly fulfilling," said Vincent Yip, eMarketer junior forecasting analyst. "Although a growing number of millennials feel secure using payment apps, virtually all still find credit and debit cards equally convenient."