Apple plans to enable Apple Pay on its Safari Web browser by this fall, enabling users to make purchases directly from websites, but its vision for taking Apple Pay to the Web does not seem to extend much further.
Apple CEO Tim Cook briefly discussed Apple Pay's move to Safari, the default Web browser for Apple computers and mobile devices, during Tuesday evening's quarterly earnings call. Like most Apple innovations, the initiative is taking place in venues mostly under Apple's control.
With Apple Pay on mobile devices, this limitation has hindered interoperability and forced banks and retailers to decide whether to wait for alternatives to appear on Android handsets before giving their full support to Apple.
Safari covers about 13% of the Web browser market, according to reports, compared to 59% for Google's Chrome. This shortfall could make it hard for Apple to appeal to e-commerce sites, particularly considering there are already more widely accepted and used digital payment options such as PayPal, which this week extended its Venmo unit's capabilities to include in-app purchases.
During Tuesday's earnings call, Cook did not indicate that Apple would support other Web browsers, and Apple did not return a request for comment by deadline. The company is notoriously stubborn about tech decisions that go against the grain, such as its refusal to support Adobe Flash in iOS.
Though Apple Pay performed below initial industry expectations, Cook painted an optimistic picture. Tens of millions of users around the world are using Apple Pay at stores and in-app with estimated monthly active users up more than 450% year on year last month, Cook said, adding that three out of four contactless payments in the U.S. are made with Apple Pay.
There are more than 11 million contactless-ready locations in the countries where Apple Pay is available today, including 3 million locations now accepting Apple pay in the United States. With the launch of France, Switzerland, and Hong Kong this month, Apple Pay is now live in nine markets including six of Apple's top 10, Cook said.
"Adoption outside the U.S. has been explosive with over 50% of transaction volume now coming from non-U.S. markets," Cook said.
That said, a handful of banks in Australia — Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, the Commonweath Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac — applied to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to approve joint third-party mobile wallet negotiations with Apple, Samsung and Google, a move the banks contend will improve choice for consumers.
For the quarter ending June 30, Apple reported earnings of $1.42 per share on revenues of $42.4 billion. That beat analyst estimates, but was lower than the prior year, when it reported earnings of $1.85 per share on $49.61 billion in revenue.