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Mobile Payments

Apple Pay users drawn to store card and loyalty programs

Monday 22 February 2016 | 10:14 AM CET

Although US consumers have been slow to adopt mobile wallets, loyalty cards are quickly catching on as one of the most popular uses of Apple Pay, which could increase adoption in the future, based on new data.

According to First Annapolis, three quarters of cards loaded onto Apple Pay are general-purpose payment cards. Of those cards, 41% were credit, 30% were debit, and 4% were prepaid.

Also, 25% of cards loaded were proprietary store or loyalty cards. That's notable, considering Apple Pay only enabled most store and loyalty cards a few months ago.

These loyalty card adoption rates bode well for digital wallets for two reasons. Latent demand for rewards cards could propel wallet adoption: the significant adoption of store cards in Apple Pay over a short time suggests that consumers have likely wanted a mobile wallet with loyalty card compatibility for a long time. Now that Apple Pay has pushed store cards, the pent-up demand could continue to be unlocked, prompting more people to adopt the wallet.

What`s more, rewards cards could spur more frequent wallet usage: store cards often reward users for making frequent purchases. Therefore, linking this rewards structure with a wallet like Apple Pay could encourage users to make frequent purchases with their mobile wallets.

These opportunities make Apple Pay partnerships exceedingly valuable for store- and private-label card providers. If store and loyalty card use on the service continues to rise as Apple Pay adoption picks up, partnering with mobile wallet companies could provide increased revenue for private label card networks.

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