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Apple Pay roasts Starbucks to become number one mobile payment system in US

How to send money with Apple Pay Cash in the Messages app
How to send money with Apple Pay Cash in the Messages app (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A report suggests that Apple Pay has passed Starbucks to become the most used mobile payment system in America
  • Apple Pay users reportedly up to 30 million in 2019 from roughly 22 million in mid 2018.
  • Report estimates that 70% of US retailers will accept Apple Pay be the end of 2019.

A study be eMarketer suggests that Apple Pay has surpassed Starbucks to become the most used mobile payment system in the US.

According to a report from AppleInsider:

According to the study of mobile phone users who have made at least one proximity mobile payment transaction in the last six months using a smartphone, approximately 30.3 million people will be classed as Apple Pay users by the end of 2019, representing 47.3% of proximity mobile payment users. This is up from the last study of May 2018, where Apple Pay users by the end of the year was forecast at 22 million people, though eMarketer believes the actual number was 27.7 million people.By contrast, Starbucks was in first place in 2018's study with 23.4 million users, while in 2019 it rose to 25.2 million, giving it a representation of 39.4%. Google Pay grew from 11.1 million in 2018 to 12.2 million in 2019, and Samsung Pay from 9.9 million to 10.8 million.

The news is extremely encouraging for Apple, as the growth of Apple Pay usage continues to be strong. However it's important to recognise that Starbucks' user base is a phenomenal achievement, considering that the Starbucks mobile payment system is a single-store app, whereas Apple Pay can be used by almost any retailer.

The news is less encouraging for Samsung and Google, who's payment platforms have less users combined than Starbucks, and who saw limited growth over the same period compared to Apple.

Overall, the report suggests mobile payment is trending strongly upwards, with total spending in the US approaching $100 billion for 2019. User average spend is expected to increase 24% to $1545, and the overall number of mobile payment users is expected to grow 9.1% to 64 million.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.