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Apple Pay is now bigger than MasterCard

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Apple Pay adoption keeps growing by leaps and bounds.
Photo: Apple

Apple Pay is now handling over $6 trillion in transactions a year, according to new research. That means the iPhone’s wireless payment system is now bigger than MasterCard and Alipay.

Since its inception in 2014, analysts report that Apple Pay has slowly grown to the point where a large majority of iPhone users now have it activated.

Apple Pay all the way

Apple Pay is integrated into iPhone and Apple Watch. To use it, the user enters their credit cards into the Wallet app. After that, the card isn’t necessary to make the transactions. Simply tap the iPhone on the payment terminal and approve the transaction.

It’s also used for online transactions made with an iPhone, Mac or iPad.

“Apple Pay is increasingly becoming the go-to payment method for consumers and businesses alike,” said Edith Reads from TradingPlatforms. “The fact that it has now processed more transactions than Mastercard is a testament to its popularity. Already, it has outdone Mastercard with only Visa remaining on top.”

Growing popularity and controversy

Apple Pay was activated on just 10% of iPhones in 2016, but passed 50% in 2020 and adoption of the tap-to-pay technology is now at about 75%, according to research by Loup Ventures as reported in the WSJ.

The COVID-19 epidemic helped drive the popularity of T2P technology like Apple’s. It offers users the ability to purchase items without needing to exchange cash or even touch a credit card reader.

And it’s available in about 60 countries around the world

But it’s not without controversy because Apple restricts access to the iPhone’s NFC capabilities to the company’s own payment system. “Apple Pay has an undue advantage and benefits from their monopoly on iPhone NFC hardware,” notes Reads from TradingPlatforms. The EU is reportedly going to make Apple remove the limitation. And it could be part of an antitrust lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Still, growth in Apple Pay adoption is likely to continue in the future as it increasing replaces plastic credit cards.




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