It’s the weekend after Black Friday, and the InfoScout team is busy analyzing millions of receipts to report on where people shopped and what they bought. But what about how consumers paid for those Amazon Fire tablets and Fitbit trackers? With the rise of mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, and PayPal, we wanted to find out if this Black Friday would be the shot heard round the world for mobile payments.
With 300,000 Americans submitting pictures of receipts through apps on their smartphones, InfoScout can identify exactly what type of devices they’re using, down to the model numbers. This allows us to study transactions made by people who actually have the capability to use mobile payment technologies such as NFC exclusively at stores with compatible point-of-sale (POS) terminals. For Apple Pay, this qualifies owners of the iPhone 6 and above. On the Android side, the device market is far more fragmented, so we limited our study to owners of fairly equivalent devices: the two most recent versions of Google’s Nexus phones, the LG G3 and G4, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 & S6.
We found Apple Pay usage at its lowest rate since we’ve started tracking it, being used for only 2.7% of Apple Pay-eligible transactions. This is a fairly marked decrease from what we saw last year on Black Friday, when iPhone 6 owners used Apple Pay for 4.9% of eligible transactions at participating merchants. Of course, back then the primary owners of Apple Pay-enabled devices were early—and technologically curious—adopters, whereas now the technology is in the hands of the broader population. Below you can see the usage over time in our quarterly Apple Pay tracking reports.
On the Android side of the table, we saw an even lower rate of mobile wallet usage – just 2.0% of eligible transactions. This was our first time investigating mobile wallet usage among Android owners and we were interested to see that of all the mobile wallet options available, it was actually PayPal that came out on top on Black Friday. Since Android Pay and Samsung Pay were both released within the last three months, we may see this picture change as time goes on.
So what was the most common way shoppers paid for their Black Friday bargains? Plastic. This year, 79% of iPhone users and 74% of Android users paid with their credit and debit cards on 2015’s iconic shopping day, and that doesn’t even count the mobile wallet transactions that were funded by credit/debit cards.