Apple Pay overtakes Starbucks as most popular mobile payment option in U.S.

Starbucks has offered a mobile payment option for many years now, and, considering the chain’s dominance in the United States, it has been the most popular option out there.

But it looks like Apple’s option, Apple Pay, has unseated the leader. That’s according to data from eMarketer, at least. According to the data, eMarketer says this is the first time a “generic mobile payment app” is “more popular” than the in-app mobile payment option from Starbucks in the United States. eMarketer says that Apple Pay became the leader last year when 27.7 million Americans used the service to buy something.

eMarketer says Apple Pay has been growing even faster than expected:

Since our last mobile payments forecast in May 2018, Apple Pay use has grown even faster than expected. In 2019, Apple Pay will have 30.3 million users in the US, representing 47.3% of proximity mobile payment users. Following closely behind, the Starbucks app will have 25.2 million users this year, representing 39.4% of proximity mobile payment users.

Analyst Yory Wurmser says that the evolution of point-of-sale (POS) devices in retailers that support “the NFC signals Apple Pay runs on” is partly the reason why Apple Pay has skyrocketed in usage within the U.S. Wurmser also says that the development will also likely help the leaders for Android devices, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

By the end of 2019 Apple Pay is expected to be available in up to 70 percent of U.S. retailers. The research notes that the Starbucks mobile payment option still holds a 40% market share, but its growth is pretty limited in comparison to the others as it’s still restricted to a single retailer.

Mobile payment spending is going to continue to rise in the U.S., too:

Total spending via proximity mobile payments will approach $100 billion this year in the US. That means that on average, a user will spend $1,545 per year using proximity mobile payments, up more than 24% over last year.

Overall, the total number of people using proximity mobile payments in the US this year will grow 9.1% to 64.0 million. That represents nearly 30% of all US smartphone users.

Apple Pay has certainly become one of Apple’s most lucrative services, and that will only continue to be the case as its presence grows not only in the U.S., but globally.

How often do you use Apple Pay?