Apple Pay is amazingly convenient and so easy to use yet many iPhone 6 and newer owners have yet to even attempt to use this secure payment feature on their device—seriously! When you read some of the stats surrounding its use you start to wonder why is Apple trying to fix something that simply isn’t broken? Paying with a credit card is very convenient, so what exactly is Apple trying to do with Apple Pay?
Apple Pay Usage
Recently Trustev stated only 1 in 5 people in the US with iPhones capable of using Apple Pay have tried to use it. Furthermore, 56 percent of those who have used Apple Pay report only using it once during a typical week, whereas 15.3 percent state they never use Apple Pay during a typical week.
CNBC recently suggested adoption rates are slowing for Apple Pay. A recent survey found “only 20 percent of iPhone 6 owners reported using Apple Pay at least once last December.”
Statistics surrounding Apple Pay can get a bit confusing, but I don’t think Apple is even remotely concerned since the major segment of their target market has yet to even age into wanting or needing to use it. Apple isn’t trying to change the way early Generation-Xers pay, they’re looking to shape the way late Millennials and even younger generations act at the point of sale in the future.
Children and Cellphone Exposure
The age our children are introduced to cell phones is quite young. For children under the age of two, 38 percent of them have used a mobile device for media. According to Growing Wireless, 56 percent of children age 8 to 12 already have a cellphone. These stats can be a bit surprising to us parents but it’s difficult to deny your children something you interact with throughout the day right in front of their very eyes. It’s only natural for them to reach for it too, they look up to you and want to be just like you—until they’re teenagers that is.
Apple is aware of these stats and use research and development to design features for tomorrows generation to keep the iPhone relevant to them and evolving with them. App developers help Apple tremendously by creating addictive apps to keep them busy. It’s evident these strategies are paying off since our children are buried in their iPhones like never before. Have you looked in the backseat of your car on the way home from school lately? If they own an iPhone, they’re busy texting, on Snapchat, or posting pics to Instagram non-stop all the way home. They know their way around a smart phone better than their local public library. If you took away their iPhone they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves; some of us parents are guilty of this too.
Establishing New Habits
For millions of Americans paying with our credit cards isn’t broke, so we’re simply not going to adjust our habits. Our kids are going to be mass-adapters to this evolving technology and carrying around credit cards is going to become a thing of the past. Sounds crazy but remember how checks were used religiously? How often do you write checks these days? Sure you still use them, but their existence outside the home is fairly rare. Remember the last time you were in line at the grocery store and someone paid with a check, annoying right? Next on the chopping block is the form of credit cards we recognize today. Eventually they too will be something you keep at home only used for reference when you need to input information into Apple Pay or to take them on vacation with you in case of an emergency.
Right now though most of us don’t see a need to fix how we pay for our goods and services since our current system isn’t technically broken. Sure it could be more secure, but the new chips credit cards are required to come equipped with help increase their security.
As our children become adults, the way they interact with their iPhones will continue to shape their norms and Apple Pay is right there waiting to become a habit in their daily life. Their iPhone is recognizable and they ultimately trust it since it’s something they use regularly throughout their day to accomplish numerous important tasks. It only makes sense that they would trust it with their credit card information since other personal information is stored securely behind numerous layers of protection.
I would argue Apple is running a marathon and not a sprint with Apple Pay. Old habits die-hard and I believe that’s why Apple Pay is having a difficult time catching on with us old folks, but when you’ve set the stage for a different generation to form a habit they will fall right into a pattern. Your children already know their way around an iPhone better than you do. It’s only a matter of time before they grow up and get their own credit card and program it to be utilized in this thing called Apple Pay they’ve heard their friends talking about who also just got a credit card.
Apple is playing a very patient long game with Apple Pay. I believe Apple knew it wouldn’t be extremely popular a year after being introduced. What Apple Pay would do is get its foot in the door and start showing the world an ever so slightly more convenient way to pay. In the meantime, chip-reader terminals will continue to be installed in more and more stores which makes them recognizable. Soon enough our children will age into getting credit cards and Apple Pay is right there waiting for them.