Apple Pay takes top slot as most popular mobile payments app in the US

Bar chart showing mobile payments app usage in USA
MARKET LEADER: Apple Pay has become the most popular in-store mobile payments app in the US

Three in ten US smartphone owners now use a mobile payments app to make payments in stores — and Apple Pay is now the most popular with 30.3 million users, according to new research by eMarketer.

Starbucks’ mobile app, the previous market leader, is now in second place with 25.2 million users, followed by Google Pay with 12.1 million users and Samsung Pay with 10.8 million.

“Total spending via proximity mobile payments will approach $100bn this year in the US,” eMarketer says.

“That means that, on average, a user will spend $1,545 per year using proximity mobile payments, up more than 24% over last year.

“Overall, the total number of people using proximity mobile payments in the US this year will grow 9.1% to 64 million. That represents nearly 30% of all US smartphone users.”

“US adults ages 25 to 34 are the largest demographic in terms of absolute size and penetration, with 21.2 million users, or nearly 50% of all smartphone users in this age group,” eMarketer adds. “The fastest growth is among Americans ages 55 to 64 but from a small base.”

“Apple Pay has benefited from the spread of new point-of-sale (POS) systems that work with the NFC signals Apple Pay runs on,” says eMarketer principal analyst Yory Wurmser.

“The same trend should also help Google Pay and Samsung Pay, but they will continue to split the Android market.”