Early Apple Pay stats point to a modest but promising start

Sure, Apple was quick to tout a surge of Apple Pay registrations, but how often are people actually using the iPhone-focused payment service? A fair amount, apparently. Whole Foods tells the New York Times that it racked up 150,000 transactions in the three weeks after Apple Pay became available. That's not a lot in the grander scheme of things (just 7,143 payments per day), but it's significant for a single store and a brand new service with limited device support. Other shops aren't quite so forthcoming with stats, although they suggest that there has also been an uptick. Walgreens says its mobile payments have doubled, while McDonald's says that Apple Pay now makes up half of its tap-to-pay purchases.

It's not clear that Apple Pay will be successful in the long run; that depends on additional hardware support and cooperative retailers. Toys "R" Us notes that its boost in mobile payments doesn't amount to much when cash and credit are still far more popular. Even if Apple Pay doesn't pan out, though, there are hints that it's helping others. Both Google and Softcard say they've seen increased usage in the past few weeks due to increased awareness of tap-to-pay services -- that's good news for mobile payments as a whole, no matter which smartphone you're using.

[Image credit: Getty Images for Mastercard]