Apple embarks on push to bring more iPhone users into its payments business

The news: Apple introduced a number of features and tie-ups to enhance its payments offerings and spur user growth.

Apple will let users add COVID-19 vaccine cards to the Apple Wallet.

  • The integration builds on Apple’s previous efforts to expand the wallet’s use cases—like supporting student IDs and insurance cards, per TechCrunch.
  • The wallet could see an uptick in adoption among Apple users looking for a convenient solution to state governments mandating proof of vaccination to enter public establishments. Those new wallet users might then adopt it for payments as well.

The tech giant enabled a dynamic CVV feature for Apple Card users in iOS 15.

  • Advanced Fraud Protection changes the CVV tied to the card each time it's viewed in the Wallet app or after it's auto-filled from Safari, per MacRumors. This makes it so that each transaction carries a unique CVV code, adding an extra layer of security.
  • The feature can help create more trust among customers using Apple Card, especially for those who may have been wary following outages in the last few months.

Apple also forged partnerships to expand Apple Pay acceptance.

  • Payment and expense management platform PayHawk now lets users add their Payhawk Visa card to Apple Pay, and fintech startup wamo integrated Apple Pay into its app so customers can make QR code payments with the mobile wallet. Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken also recently let users purchase crypto with Apple Pay.
  • These tie-ups give Apple Pay users more spending touchpoints, which can help boost the wallet’s payments volume.

The big takeaway: Apple’s latest feature enhancements might push iOS users to adopt its payment offerings and help it gain a stronger foothold in the wider payments space.

Despite Apple’s leadership position in the mobile payments space, the company still has a large addressable market to tap into—less than 40% of iPhone owners use Apple Pay, based on our forecasts. And the company has an estimated 6.4 million Apple Card users out of the 116.3 million iOS users that it’s expected to reach this year, per Insider Intelligence forecasts. Building out offerings with more convenient tools and improved security can help Apple close the gap between the number of Apple-branded payment users and iPhone owners.

Go deeper: For a closer look into Apple’s payments ambitions, including growth opportunities, areas where it can improve, and how it stacks up against competitors, check out the US Mobile Payments Forecast 2021 report.