While Apple Pay is booming, 88% of its users are overseas

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One factor, says Gene Munster, is greater acceptance on public transportation in China, Japan, the UK, and Russia.


From a note to Loup Ventures subscribers posted Tuesday:

Apple Pay adoption continues to climb (launched in 2014), but more importantly, it represents another sticky feature that makes users more likely to remain loyal to Apple products.

  • The iPhone installed base, on which we were given a rare update, now stands at 900M devices.
  • We estimate, based on our survey work as well as the growth in transactions, countries, locations, and banks, that 43% of global iPhone users have enabled Apple Pay. This is up from 36% in Sep-18 and 20% in Dec-17. That implies there are currently 383M Apple Pay users, up 21% sequentially and 135% y/y. We believe this growth is fueled in part by the launch of peer to peer payments in Jan-18.
  • We also estimate, based on the number of active countries and number of use cases within those markets, that 12% of Apple Pay users are in the US, and 88% of users are international. For reference, we believe 21% of active iPhones are in the US.
  • That means that utilization of Apple Pay in the US is lower than other countries. One factor is greater acceptance on public transportation in China, Japan, UK, and Russia. We estimate that 24% of US iPhone users have used Apple Pay vs. 47% of international users.

While Apple Pay likely won’t have a measurable impact on Services revenue growth, the model, enabled by Apple’s treatment of user privacy, lays the groundwork for handling other sensitive data and bringing ease of use to areas like healthcare.

My take: In other words, with each ka-ching, Apple collects what Ben Thompson might call a strategy credit. See: Why Apple’s heart isn’t in HomePod.