The coronavirus pandemic gave Apple Pay a big boost, contactless payments here to stay

Apple’s chief executive revealed during yesterday’s conference call discussing the company’s September quarter earnings with analyst and Wall Street investors that the coronavirus pandemic gave the Apple Pay contactless payment solution a major boost.

“As you can imagine in this environment people are less willing to hand over a card,” Cook said on the call. According to the CEO, Apple Card, released in 2019, is “is doing well” while Apple Pay, launched in 2014, “is doing exceptionally well” though he wouldn’t reveal any numbers.

He added that this time around, contactless payments are here to stay:

This contactless payment has taken on a different level of adoption. And that I think we’ll never go back. The US has been lagging a bit in contactless payment and I think that the pandemic may well have put the US on a different trajectory there and so we are very bullish about this area, and view that there there are more things that Apple can do in this space.

Apple Pay continues to be “an area of great interest to us,” he added.

The Services business, which includes Apple Pay and Apple Card as well, now has a whopping 585 million paid subscribers and is on track to pass 600 million paid subscribers by year-end.

Apple reported double-digit gains across many business segments, including the Mac and Services. Cook attributed the increased demand for Apple hardware to people working from home, adding he expects remote learning and remote work trends to continue.

Normal will become something different because I think people are learning that there are aspects of this that work well. So I don’t believe that we’re going to go back to where we were. Remote working is not something that’s going to snap back to the way it used to be any time soon.

Apple is not providing guidance for the holiday shopping quarter due to the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the overall economic impact and eroding consumer confidence caused by the latest round of lockdowns around the world.