Skip to content

Apple Pay Users: How Many People Use Apple Pay in 2023?

Have you considered using your iPhone, Apple Watch or other Apple device to make payments quickly and easily? If so, you‘re not alone – Apple Pay has grown into one of the most widely-used contactless payment services. But exactly how many Apple Pay users are there today? Let‘s dive into the latest Apple Pay statistics and trends.

Apple Pay Continues Strong Growth Globally

Apple Pay launched in 2014 as a secure, contactless payment system for iOS devices. According to Apple‘s earnings reports, the global Apple Pay user base has expanded rapidly:

  • 67 million users in 2016
  • 137 million users in 2017
  • 292 million users in 2018
  • 441 million users in 2019
  • 507 million users in 2020
  • 521 million users in 2021
  • 535 million users in 2022

As the numbers show, Apple Pay has sustained impressive growth over the years, despite competition from payment services like Google Pay and Samsung Pay. The 535 million global users in 2022 represents a 13 million user jump from 2021.

Apple does not break down country-specific data, but experts believe the U.S. accounts for a major portion of Apple Pay users. Analyzing the adoption and usage trends can give us insights into how widely-used Apple Pay is today.

Apple Pay User Growth in the United States

Forecasts suggest Apple Pay‘s U.S. user base will surpass 55.8 million in 2023. Here is a breakdown of the U.S. Apple Pay user growth estimates in recent years and projections through 2026:

YearApple Pay Users (millions)% of U.S. Population

Apple Pay‘s 19.8% adoption rate among the U.S. population in 2023 equals about 1 in 5 people. This demonstrates the steady growth, as just 18.1% of Americans used Apple Pay in 2022.

The user base is forecast to cross 67 million in 2026, representing nearly a quarter of the total U.S. population. This growth trajectory mirrors the expanding adoption of contactless payments and mobile wallets across the country.

Demographic Differences in Apple Pay Users

Apple Pay usage varies across demographic factors like age, income, and location. For instance, adoption is particularly high among younger consumers:

  • 73.1% of Gen Z have used Apple Pay in stores
  • 55.3% of younger Millennials use Apple Pay to pay
  • 51.1% for core Millennial demographic
  • 52.4% of Gen X users
  • 43.9% of Baby Boomers

These generational differences exist because younger generations are often early adopters of new technology. Gen Z and Millennials are also more likely to use smartphones as their primary devices.

Geographically, Apple Pay adoption aligns with iPhone market share – generally higher in urban coastal areas like New York and Los Angeles compared to rural inland regions. Usage also skews higher among middle and higher income groups who own newer iPhone models.

In-Store vs. Online Usage of Apple Pay

One key trend across countries is that Apple Pay is used more frequently for in-store transactions than online payments.

For example, a 2022 consumer survey revealed:

  • U.K. – 69% of Apple Pay users make in-store purchases, while 35% pay online
  • U.S. – 54% use Apple Pay in-store, compared to 31% online
  • Canada – 57% of Apple Pay usage is in retail stores, 28% online
  • Australia – 50% in-store, 33% online

This data indicates customers take advantage of the speed and convenience when paying with Apple Pay at brick-and-mortar checkout counters. At the same time, roughly one-third of transactions occur via Apple Pay on ecommerce sites, apps, and more.

Comparing usage over the past few years reveals in-store Apple Pay transactions have gradually increased as more retailers have adopted contactless terminals. Meanwhile, mobile commerce and app purchases have risen significantly during the pandemic, boosting online Apple Pay activity.

Top Countries and Sites Accepting Apple Pay

As of 2023, Apple Pay is officially available in over 60 countries globally. Here are numbers related to adoption in top markets:

  • U.S. – Over 55 million users make it the #1 country. U.S. also has over 200,000 websites accepting Apple Pay.
  • U.K. – Second largest user base with 69% paying in stores with Apple Pay. 41,000+ online merchants accept it.
  • Canada – Around 27,000 websites take Apple Pay. 57% of users pay in retail stores.
  • Australia – 50% in-store usage, 33% online. Rapid growth in Apple Pay users.
  • France – 63% usage for in-store payments, just 20% online.
  • Germany – Growing market with over 25,000 web stores accepting Apple Pay.

The extensive acceptance at leading online retailers and popular in-store chains has facilitated Apple Pay‘s rise as a default payment method for iPhone owners.

For instance, major websites like Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Starbucks, Groupon, and Instacart all accept Apple Pay. Brick-and-mortar chains like McDonald‘s, 7-Eleven, CVS, Walgreens, Nike, Pizza Hut, and Whole Foods also let you pay with just an iPhone tap.

Apple Pay‘s Convenient and Secure Process

What exactly happens when you pay with Apple Pay on your iPhone, Apple Watch or other device? Here is a quick look at the process:

  • You first add your credit or debit cards to the Apple Wallet app. Your actual card numbers are not stored.
  • Your device must contain an NFC (near field communication) chip to enable the contactless transactions.
  • When you‘re ready to pay, you simply hold your iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless terminal.
  • For in-app purchases or online, you confirm payments using Touch ID or Face ID.
  • Your card details are never shared directly. Instead, a unique encrypted token is passed to the merchant.
  • A new security code is generated with each transaction so your card number cannot be reused.

This combination of tokenization, encryption, and biometric authentication gives Apple Pay users peace of mind. Contactless transactions are also typically faster than inserting and entering a chip card.

Many issuers promote Apple Pay to their cardholders citing the improved security – for instance, decreased risks of fraud that exist with plastic cards. As more consumers realize these benefits, Apple Pay adoption continues rising across cards and markets.

Rewards and Offers Encourage Usage

A key driver of Apple Pay growth is exclusive rewards and promotions available to users.

For example, some current Apple Pay offers include:

  • 3% Daily Cash back with Apple Card for Apple Pay transactions
  • 5% cashback with select retailers on certain days through Apple Card
  • Special discounts at merchants like Walgreens, Panera Bread, Nike
  • Points or mile bonuses on co-branded credit cards
  • Free delivery with services like Postmates
  • Various discounts on iPhone models

The incentives provide incremental motivation to use Apple Pay, especially for purchasing higher ticket items. Apple has forged partnerships with payment networks like Mastercard and American Express to integrate such offers.

As more users take advantage of Apple Pay rewards, issuers and merchants also benefit. They gain valuable customer data and engagement powered by Apple.

The Contactless Payment Future

Apple Pay has reached over half a billion users in less than 10 years since launch. The growth has accelerated through the global rise of contactless payments.

For example, contactless card transactions have surged:

  • From 2.1 billion transactions in 2016 to over 52 billion in 2021 in the U.S.
  • Market share increased from 6% of total card payments to 20% over that period

This shift away from physical cards and cash to tap-and-go mobile wallets provides tailwinds for Apple Pay. Integrating loyalty programs and offers creates even stronger incentives for consumers.

While Apple Pay usage still skews younger now, over time it is poised to become a mainstream payment standard across demographics. With global giant Apple pushing contactless adoption across its ecosystem, the future looks bright for mobile wallet payments.

The Bottom Line

In 2023, Apple Pay has reached over 55 million U.S. users – representing nearly 20% of the population. Worldwide, over 535 million iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad owners now take advantage of the speed, security and convenience when paying with Apple devices.

While in-store usage currently dominates, Apple Pay is also transforming online commerce and in-app payments. With steady growth forecast, Apple Pay is cementing its place as a leader in the contactless payment revolution.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.