3 Out of 4 Apple Pay Transactions Happen Outside the U.S.

Apple Pay usage continues to grow on a global scale, but not so much when it comes to the U.S.

The technology company’s mobile wallet remains the most popular choice for global consumers, responsible for about 90% of all NFC transactions, according to the company’s earnings call yesterday.

However, most of those transactions are coming from outside of the United States, Luca Maestri, chief financial officer for Apple, said during the earnings call:

The reach, usage, and functionality of Apple Pay continue to grow. We launched Apple Pay in Italy in May. And the UAE, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden are scheduled to go live before the end of this calendar year.

Apple Pay is by far the number one NFC payment service on mobile devices, with nearly 90% of all transactions globally. Momentum is strongest in international markets, where the infrastructure for mobile payments has developed faster than in the U.S. In fact, three out of four Apple Pay transactions happen outside the U.S.

This international growth should continue as the company expands its mobile wallet service to include more markets, especially in countries like Sweden, which is notoriously cash-light. It will encounter entrenched competitors in such markets, however.

Apple is also focusing on expansion in countries like China, where its mobile wallet service has to shoulder up with apps like WeChat Pay and AliPay, something that’s difficult when the majority of Chinese smartphone users are not iOS users.

Apple revenue in China for this quarter was just over $8 billion, representing a 10% decrease year-over-year for that market, according to the company’s quarterly results.

However, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was “encouraged” by results in China for its third quarter, noting that results might improve as Apple continues to build out a relationship with WeChat parent company Tencent. Said Cook during the call:

In terms of WeChat, the way that I look at this is because our share – because iOS share is not nearly a majority of the market in China, the fact that a lot of people use that, it makes the switching opportunity even greater.

…And so I see Tencent as one of our biggest and best developers. They’ve done a great job of implementing a lot of iOS features in their apps and we’re looking forward to working with them even more to build even greater experiences for our mutual users in China.

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