Apple Pay’s biggest hurdle to overcome is at checkout

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A war for mobile wallet dominance is on the horizon. Apple Pay. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Pay is off to an excellent start, according to Tim Cook and the rest of the company’s top brass. But a recent study found that the majority of users are having issues using the mobile payments service at checkout.

Phoenix Marketing International surveyed around 3,000 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners and found that 66% have linked a debit card to Apple Pay. 88% of those users made a transaction with the service in the last four months.

68% of those surveyed said they’ve run into problems with Apple Pay during the checkout process. Transactions either took too long to record, the cashier was unfamiliar with the service, or transactions were recorded incorrectly or doubled.

Apple Pay users made on average just 2.6 in-store transactions in its first four months of availability. Apple’s own stores, Macy’s, and McDonalds accounted for the bulk of the transactions.

While the report does note that users are actively seeking out retailers that support Apple Pay, it also points to how difficult it can be to find stores that have signed on. Apple just made it possible for retailers to get free decals for advertising that they support Apple Pay, which will hopefully help the discovery issue.

Tim Cook has said that he expects 2015 to be the “year of Apple Pay,” and 700,000 stores already support the service in the United States. There are still a lot of hurdles to overcome aside from streamlining the checkout process, including international rollouts and a loyalty program for merchants. But it’s clear that Apple is dominating the mobile payments industry, regardless of the early hiccups.