More and more consumers are switching to digital wallets for even their in-person shopping. Apple Pay has been leading these efforts, and in 2020 did so in a huge way. A recent report states that Apple Pay transactions accounted for 92% of all mobile wallet business in 2020.
Analyzing and Tracking Mobile Wallet Debit Transactions
Each year, electronic funds transfer firm Pulse conducts a study of debit transaction trends. Pulse is a subsidiary of Discover Financial Services, which takes care of more than 4,400 financial institutions throughout the US. As part of that study, the firm’s analyst examines mobile wallet business trends.
In the 2021 Debit Issuer Study, Oliver Wyman found there were about two billion mobile wallet debit transactions in 2020. These transactions used Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay. The overall number is up 51 percent compared with 2019, and the study shows that Apple Pay handled, by far, the majority of the mobile wallet business.
In fact, the study shows Apple Pay outperformed the two major competitors across every metric. Samsung Pay accounted for 5 percent of the mobile wallet debit transactions in 2020, and Google Pay made up only 3 percent. To reiterate, Apple Pay transactions made up 92 percent of all mobile wallet debits in the US in 2020.
Pandemic Shopping Patterns Help Drive Apple Pay Growth
In 2020, 74 of the top 100 US merchants accepted Apple Pay. Examining retail locations throughout the country, Pulse’s study shows that 65 percent now support the service. These numbers are dramatically higher from the early days of Apple Pay, when we only saw a handful of regional merchants and even fewer smaller retail shops integrating any sort of tap-to-pay technology.
The COVID-19 pandemic generated a lot of dramatic changes in personal shopping patterns, including the mobile wallet business. People were shopping in person less often, and transaction sizes were larger. When we did shop in person, we attempted to minimize any contact, making Apple Pay even more appealing.
In fact, the study found that average ticket size increased 55 percent from $15 in 2019 to $23 in 2020. Debit ticket size grew from $40.50 in $2019 to $44.80 last year. We made fewer purchases, but the ones that we did make were larger.
According to the study, 57 percent of all 2020 mobile wallet transactions used some sort of supporting app. That means that Apple Wallet and other apps supporting Apple Pay were instrumental in helping Apple increase its usage rate.
For those of you keeping track at home, Apple Pay launched in the US in 2014. Since then, it has expanded to a number of countries around the world. In fact, just today we learned that Apple Pay is now available in Qatar.