TfL proves most popular retailer on Apple Pay UK following launch

Paying for public transport has fast emerged as the UK’s favourite use of Apple Pay in the immediate aftermath of its launch, though one in ten are struggling to get the payment to work in stores, according to a new report.

Transport for London’s (TfL) bus, tube and rail network proved the most popular for Apple Pay users with twice as many people using it to pay for a TfL journey (850) than for food at Pret a Manger (400) in the first three days, according to the study of 26,000 tweets and 15,789 people by Brandwatch found.

Waitrose, Tesco and Boots were among the top five brands with the most Apple Pay evangelists, while Nando’s, Co-op, Subway, McDonalds and Starbucks had the least.

Natalie Meehan marketing insights analyst, Brandwatch told The Drum that the convenience of using Apply Pay on public transport will only be met if TfL can ensure the technology is fully functional for every transaction. "Getting onto trains and buses with just your phone is an attractive proposition for consumers - as long as it works 100 per cent of the time. People will just reach for their Oyster card is there’s a chance of holding up a tube queue at rush hour."

Among the banks using Apple Pay, NatWest was the consumers’ favourite; 583 NatWest customers tweeted about their use of Apple Pay, double the uptake of its nearest competitor RBS, which had 226 unique tweets. Nationwide saw 158, Santander 123, and Ulster Bank of Northern Ireland 51.

However people were struggling with the technology. Of the 26,000 tweets about Apple Pay 10 per cent of them were about how people couldn’t get the service to work. Retailers were caught in the firing line too with negative mentions almost outweighing positive ones. Some customers complained they had been charged twice, while others complained that their local stores don’t have contactless readers yet.

Last week The Drum investigated why early momentum of Apple Pay could live and die by how much launch partners like Wagamama and TfL buy into the promise of its convenience and security credentials and choose to promote Apple Pay to their customers.

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