Apple’s payments business enhancements position it for a prosperous 2022

The news: Apple released a roundup of the updates to its payments business and other service upgrades in 2021.

  • Family card. Last year, the tech giant launched the Apple Family Card, an extension of the Goldman Sachs-issued Apple Card that lets cardholders share their account with up to five family members. Key features include letting spouses and partners build credit together and giving some account access to users over 13 years old.
  • Apple Pay’s global expansion. Apple brought its mobile wallet to nine new markets in 2021—including Colombia, Israel, and Mexico—bringing its global footprint to nearly 60 countries and regions. The Apple Wallet also supports transit systems in more than 200 cities. (It debuted in two Chinese cities in late 2021.)
  • New wallet features. Last year, Apple expanded its university ID program—which lets students keep a digital version of their college IDs in the wallet—to more universities in Canada and the US. It also enabled support for health insurance cards in Australia and hotel keys at select Hyatt hotels and some Disney passes in the US.

What this means: The influx of mobile wallet offerings introduced in 2021 highlights Apple’s desire to encourage more iPhone users to adopt Apple Pay. Less than 40% of iPhone owners used Apple Pay last year, per calculations from our forecasts. Adding Wallet capabilities might convince users to give it a try.

At roughly 6.4 million cardholders as of May 2021, per Cornerstone Advisors, the Apple Card also has yet to grab a significant share of the US card space—despite boasting features like a tiered cash-back reward system and recently enabled dynamic CVV. The tight integration with the iPhone limits Apple Card’s addressable market to the roughly 60% of US consumers who own an iPhone. However, innovative card features might encourage more consumers to adopt the card—and use it with Apple Pay.

Looking ahead: Apple has big plans for 2022: Besides enabling Wallet support for state IDs and driver’s licenses, the tech giant may be developing other innovative features that can make its payments solutions more compelling.

  • Apple is reportedly considering a buy now, pay later (BNPL) program that would be tied to the Apple Wallet.
  • There were also rumors Apple was weighing a cryptocurrency payments integration.
  • These potential offerings could help solidify Apple’s leadership standing in the mobile payments space: The number of Apple Pay users in the US is expected to hit 47.2 million this year, per Insider Intelligence forecasts.

Related content: Check out our “US Mobile Payments Forecast 2021” to learn more about Apple’s payments business and how it stacks up against other providers.