Apple Pay reportedly reached 253 million users globally

Apple Pay
Apple Pay

According to a recent report from analyst Gene Munster, Apple Pay currently has over 253 million users globally, which comes out to 31 percent of the active iPhone install base.

While Apple Pay’s roll out around the world has been a tad slow, its adoption levels are quite high and roughly 1 in 3 active iPhone users rely on Apple Pay as one of their payment options.

What is interesting is also that despite launching in the US first, international Apple Pay users actually account for more at 85 percent (215 million) versus just 15 percent (38 million) in the United States. With Apple still in the expansion phases of its payment solution, we expect that those numbers will keep increasing and the discrepancy to get larger as well.

With the addition of new countries, it makes sense that international has been the key driver to the Apple Pay story. There are currently 24 countries where Apple Pay is accepted, soon be 25 with the addition of Germany later this year. We now estimate total Apple Pay user base at about 253 million (International at 215m, US at 38m).

The report further claims that Apple will begin to emphasize Apple Pay more in its advertising for the iPhone as it is currently the only digital wallet that works with mobile, desktop, in-app, peer to peer, and point of sale.

Apple has several advantages to brand the iPhone as the premium digital wallet given its ability to integrate payments into both mobile and desktop operating systems, use its brand to win accepting retailers and supporting banks, and reassure users that transactions are secure and private. Separately, Apple Pay is the only digital wallet with all five payment pillars: mobile, desktop, in-app, peer to peer, and point of sale.

Munster, the longtime Apple analyst now at his own firm Loup Ventures, has been arguing throughout this year that the future of Apple’s success is in its services business. The numbers from recent quarters certainly bear that out.

While revenue from Apple Pay accounting for just 1-2 percent of Apple’s overall Services business, which also comprises Digital Content and Services, AppleCare, iTunes, the App store, Apple Music and iCloud – it is continuing to show growth. That’s because Apple Pay is expanding to more countries, being accepted by more banks, and more iPhone users are using it.

The report further states that 20 percent of global smartphone users rely on their phone as a wallet, but we can expect the number to rise in the coming years. Apple has recently been increasing its marketing focus on Apple Pay, including the peer-to-peer payment aspect of Apple Pay Cash. On its earnings call, Apple announced that it had reached over 1 billion cumulative transactions in the quarter, as well as Apple Pay’s imminent arrival in Germany.

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