Apple Pay Lands 17 New Banks, Credit Unions

January 6, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Apple has been extremely busy, especially given the fact that the last two weeks have been incredibly fragmented by any standards.

With multiple holidays and the general “let’s get all the stuff done we need to get done before the end of the year” going on, it’s hard to believe any expansion efforts would take place.

There were indeed expansion efforts taking place, though, and Apple Pay delivered one huge expansion by bringing in 17 more organizations to support the Apple Pay service.

The list includes quite a few regional powers, including the First Security Bank of Arkansas, Northern Michigan Bank and Trust, and the River Town Bank. Credit unions are also widely seen here including the Marion and Polk Schools Credit Union and the Enrichment Federal Credit Union.

That by itself would be quite a feat, but these newest additions join a list of additions that showed up just before Christmas, a list of 30 banks and credit unions that stepped in to support the service as well. This brings the combined total of institutions past the 1,600 mark

Retailer support is still somewhat sparse for the service, as around 35 percent of retailers back Apple Pay so far. New additions are expected to come online throughout the course of the year.

This is the biggest problem that Apple Pay faces. It’s not so much the walled garden of operations that will hurt it going forward—Apple users are a big market to make anything worthwhile—but rather the handful of places that will even take it.

When Samsung Pay can make hay on the back of a commercial that features Hannibal Buress paying for dinner at Katz’s Deli with Samsung Pay, after being largely turned away with Apple Pay, it’s clear there’s a problem here, and not for Samsung. That commercial is almost a year old, and the case it makes is only slightly less valid than it was when it released.

With so many retailers unable or unwilling to take Apple Pay, that could be its biggest limit going forward. Improvements here may be even more necessary than anywhere else.