Tim Cook took precious time on Apple’s earnings call today to point out that his company’s Apple Pay mobile payments platform is picking up steam with both financial institutions and merchants.
Cook said around 750 banks and credit unions are now supporting Apple Pay, and that more than two out of three dollars spent on contactless payment platforms run through Apple Pay.
As for retail partners, Cook had some success stories. Panera Bread, he said, reports that 80 percent of its online payments come through Apple Pay. Whole Foods says it’s seen an 80 percent increase in contactless payments use.
No one has ever doubted that Apple Pay is a good experience for consumers, but some have expressed doubts about the appeal of the platform to merchants. Merchants still must pay the one to two percent fee to credit card companies for every Apple Pay credit card transaction.
Seemingly addressing this issue, Cook says that his company has been hearing from point of sale system suppliers that merchants have been expressing strong interest in systems that support Apple Pay.
“More merchants have signed up, and adoption is strong,” Cook said.
“Given that we launched in October, I’m unbelievably shocked, positively shocked, at how many merchants were able to implement Apple Pay during the holiday,” he added .
He also pointed to today’s announcement that USA Technologies will be adding Apple Pay support to wireless payment terminals on 200,000 coffee brewers, vending machines, kiosks, laundry equipment, parking pay stations, and other self-serve appliances.
He proclaimed: “2015 will be the year of Apple Pay.”