Apple Pay momentum fueled by Asia-Pac commuters

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Helped by its role as a transportation fare option, Apple Pay enjoyed a strong second quarter, driving revenue in Apple's services division as well as the company's overall $61.1 billion revenue for the quarter.

"We believe the availability of Apple Pay at major transit systems has been a key driver of adoption among commuters," Apple CEO Tim Cook said during Tuesday's second-quarter earnings conference call.

As in past earnings reports, Cook did not disclose specific numbers for Apple Pay, but continued with upbeat mentions of its growth. Year over year, Apple Pay users doubled and transactions tripled — a trend that should continue in China, Cook said.

"In March, we launched Express Transit with Apple Pay in Beijing and Shanghai, the second and third largest transit systems in the world," Cook added.

Apple Pay became available to consumers in China in February of 2016.

Apple Pay is the "most successful mobile transit payment system" in Tokyo, which has the busiest transit system in the world, Cook said.

Apple Pay was part of a services division that delivered $9.1 billion in revenue, the first time it had topped $9 billion — a 31% increase and $2 billion over the second quarter of 2017. Other services include Apple Music, iTunes and the App Store.

The mobile wallet launched in Brazil last month, making the system available in 21 markets since it was introduced at Apple's iPhone 6 event in September of 2014 as a service for U.S. cardholders.

Apple expects to introduce Apple Pay to Norway, Poland and Ukraine in the coming months, Cook said.

Apple's report tempered speculation during the first two quarters that consumers were lukewarm regarding the high-priced iPhone X. Apple reported that iPhone X sales were at 52.2 million units while marking the first time that the top-of-the-line product in the Apple iPhone menu was the top seller.

The iPhoneX may have been a catalyst for Apple Pay transactions, as it introduced facial biometrics through FaceID as a security option for mobile payments as well as protection of other personal information on the smartphone.

"We were surprised that the iPhone X came up as the most popular selling item for each week after its launch, and it is the most popular phone in China," Cook said.

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