Apple's earnings call: an encouraging story about Apple Pay
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28 January 2015Zilvinas Bareisis
Yesterday Apple announced its results for Q1 2015: revenue of $74.6 billion, profit of $18 billion over the three months, apparently the largest quarterly corporate earnings of all time. While these numbers are hugely impressive, of course, the payments industry was looking for any hints of Apple Pay performance. This is what we learned:
- On enabling consumers:
- Apple sold over 74 million units of phones, mostly iPhone 6/ 6+, which is ~9 million more than expected by the investment analysts. This matters to Apple Pay, as the new phone is a prerequisite to be able to use Apple Pay. This is a global figure, but it still means that there are millions, if not tens of millions of new phones in the US where Apple Pay has been first launched.
- 750 banks and credit unions have signed up with Apple Pay. Of course, as we discussed in our earlier blog, the number of FIs actually already supporting Apple Pay is much smaller - 54, but the momentum is clearly there. Furthermore, the participating institutions represent over 90% of credit card transaction volumes.
- On enabling merchants:
- Tim Cook, Apple CEO admitted he was "positively shocked" at how many merchants were already supporting Apple Pay and revealed that POS suppliers were reporting "unprecedented demand" from merchants. Undoubtedly, the ongoing EMV migration is helping stimulate that demand for new terminals.
- USA Technologies announced a nationwide rollout of new acceptance points for Apple Pay. This will add about 200,000 acceptance points, "bringing the advanced mobile payments service to owners and operators of coffee brewers, vending machines, kiosks, laundry equipment, parking pay stations and other self-serve appliances."
- On actual usage:
- Apparently, Apple Pay is responsible for $2 out of $3 spent on Visa, MasterCard and American Express contactless transactions. While the specific statistics were not revealed, and two thirds of not much is still very little, Apple certainly demonstrated ability to acquire market share in a short period time from competitors such as Google Wallet and Softcard.
- Apple Pay represents nearly 80% of mobile payment transactions at Panera Bread, while Whole Foods Market had seen an increase in mobile payments by more than 400% since the launch of Apple Pay.
- On evolution and future plans:
- Tim Cook acknowledged the opportunities around both in store and in app use cases of Apple Pay and that market specifics will determine which will be more important in any given geography.
- As expected, Apple Pay will be expanding internationally. The management acknowledged that each market is different and will require "heavy lifting to scale," but confirmed they were ready to tackle the challenge.
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