Apple Expected to Beat Google in Mobile Payments

April 17, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

It’s clear, by now, that Apple Pay—and by extension Apple—has a lot of competition in the mobile payments space.

There’s perennial smiling troublemaker Samsung, there’s the not-as-dead-as-we-thought LG, and a host of others often from eateries and the like.

The Motley Fool recently took a look at the landscape and noted that, in the fight between Google and Apple, Apple is the current kingpin.

On the surface, such a pronouncement is a puzzle. Apple Pay operates in a walled garden while Android is available to 80 percent of the planet, and then some. So how did Apple Pay—despite a clearly smaller user base—manage to get so far ahead?

The biggest problem Android faced was that, while it clearly had the install base, so did a whole lot of others. Android is the operating system of choice for LG, for Samsung, for Huawei and a host of others…but all of these produced—or in LG’s case are producing—their own solutions.

Thus Android Pay not only had to compete against Apple, but also against all the devices that brought out solutions as well.

What’s worse, the numbers clearly run against Android. While it’s the second-most-accepted payment system at 24 percent, it’s far behind Apple at 36 percent of retailers.

Number three in the rankings, at 18 percent, is Samsung Pay. Apple is accepted at twice the retailers of Samsung, and half again as much as Android. That helps explain why Apple Pay’s transaction volume is up 500 percent over this time last year.

More users, more spending, and a lot less competition. That’s the formula that Apple’s riding to success so far, even though mobile payments are still a comparatively small part of the landscape.

While we almost certainly haven’t seen the last of any competitor here—this is a field where, in most cases, any market share is just a little extra on the side to help improve the overall picture—Apple is likely to be ruling the roost for some time to come.

Still, mobile payments have come a long way in the interim, and though Android may not be making a lot of headway here, it’s still got quite a bit to contribute to the bottom line.