When Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Apple Pay last year, he said believed it would transform mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay. It might not be conquering the world just yet, but Apple Pay has attracted a distinct and rising level of customer engagement.
Cook discussed the progress of Apple Pay during Tuesday’s first-quarter financial results conference call.
“Apple Pay is off to a very strong start and the feedback that we are getting from both individuals and institutions is extremely positive,” Cook said, according to Seeking Alpha. “Today about 750 banks and credit unions have signed on to bring Apple Pay to their customers, and in just three months after launch, Apple Pay makes up more than $2 out of $3 spent on purchases using contactless payment across the three major U.S. card networks.”
Apple Pay works with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus through a groundbreaking NFC antenna design, a dedicated chip called the Secure Element, and the security and convenience of Touch ID™. Apple Pay is easy to set up so hundreds of millions of users can simply add their credit or debit cards on file from their iTunes Store accounts.
Apple Pay will also work with the newly announced Apple Watch, extending Apple Pay to more than 200 million owners of iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s worldwide. Instead of storing personal credit or debit cards, there will be a one-time payment with a dynamic security code. Customers can add in the card by taking an image of it. Touch ID will be used to confirm transactions.
“Panera Bread tells us Apple Pay represents nearly 80% of its mobile-payment transactions, and since the launch of Apple Pay, Whole Foods Market had seen mobile payments increase by more than 400%,” Cook said. “You can use Apple Pay up and down mainstream, to pick up a prescription at Walgreens, get office or school supplies at Office Depot and Staples, and shop for groceries at national and regional stores from coast to coast, including BI-LO, Hardy, Save Mart, Wegmans, Whole Foods, and Winn-Dixie, among others.”
Cook said that interest in Apple products is at an all-time high, with more than 0.5 billion customer visits to the company’s physical and online stores during the quarter.
“Demand for iPhone has been staggering, shattering our high expectation, with sales of over 74 million units, driven by the unprecedented popularity of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” he said. “This volume is hard to comprehend. On average, we sold over 34,000 iPhones every hour, 24 hours a day, every day of the quarter.”
Apple’s first-quarter sales totaled $74.6 billion with earnings of $18 billion−both figures set records.