New data from Juniper Research estimates that the number of mobile payment users, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay, will exceed 100 million for the first time during the first half of 2017, before surpassing 150 million by the end of this year.
Juniper's report found that Apple Pay, and the alternative wallets that have followed in its wake, are set to establish themselves as the primary contactless mechanisms of choice in the U.S. According to the new research the combined market share of Apple, Samsung, and Google (via Android Pay), increased from 20 percent in 2015 to 41 percent in 2016, as a proportion of total mobile contactless payment users. Juniper forecasts that this will rise to 56 percent by 2021, as the trio’s combined user base exceeds 500 million.
The challenge for the three major players, said Juniper, is to ensure that the infrastructure is in place for consumers to make in-store payments.
“We believe that as contactless usage gains traction and consumers/merchants recognise the speed and convenience it offers, then, as in European markets, there will be a further and significant increase in availability at the point-of-sale”, said research author Nitin Bhas. Indeed, according to Apple, the proportion of U.S. retailers supporting Apple Pay rose from 4 percent in 2014 to 35 percent in late 2016.
Juniper estimates that at least 194 banks had introduced contactless payment services by the end of 2016.
Juniper added that it expects PayPal, already near ubiquitous in the online space, to rapidly deploy a portfolio of contactless payment and loyalty solutions that will allow it to compete effectively for market share.