Consumers could spend more than $1 billion per month in Australia using Apple Pay despite the service only being available to American Express card users, according to research.
Roy Morgan on Wednesday said Amex card holders had the highest ownership of iPhones and highest spend on credit cards overall compared to Mastercard and VISA customers.
There are 221,000 Amex cardholders with iPhones who are spending an average of $4,560 across all their credit cards each month, the researcher said.
Over half (52 per cent) of Amex card holders (non-bank issued) have an iPhone – well ahead of Mastercard holders (36 per cent), and VISA (35 per cent).
ING Direct leads the banks in iPhone ownership with 47 per cent but the big four banks well behind with Westpac and ANZ on 36 per cent, NAB on 35 per cent, and CBA on 34 per cent.
Amex holds $1,980 per month, or 43 per cent of its cardholders’ total card spend. The average monthly spend on Mastercard by comparison is $1,710 (60 per cent of potential), and average spend on VISA is $1,790 (61 per cent of potential).
Norman Morris, industry communications director at Roy Morgan Research, said there’s an obvious synergy between the type of high-end, affluent customer who holds an Amex card and Apple’s customers, who tend to be early adopters of the latest technology.
“At present, Amex is only gaining 43 per cent of its customers’ card spend, leaving a big opportunity for growth from existing card holders. It will also be interesting to see how may Amex customer with their cards issued by a bank might drop their cards for one that can use Apple Pay,” he said.
Apple Pay was launched in Australia on November 19. At the time, Telsyte MD, Foad Fadaghi, said Apple’s decision to make its digital wallet only available to Amex customers may hinder local adoption.
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