The number of iPhone owners using Apple Pay has doubled over the past 12 months, according to new estimates.
Apple has confirmed the doubling, but won’t reveal figures. However analytics company Loup Ventures says it believes the number of Apple Pay users is now roughly 127 million, up from 62 million a year ago.
Loup says only 5% of US users have Apple Pay activated, though, compared with 11% of iPhones outside the US – largely explained by the fact that contactless payment is far more widespread in Europe.
Larger user base
Apple also has a much larger installed user base than most other manufacturers, because of the high build quality of its products – but Apple Pay won’t work on older phones; only the iPhone 6 and above can run the payment system.
Loup also found that of the top 100 US retailers, just 24 accepted Apple Pay directly from iPhones, although this figure was up on the previous year.
Banks were more likely to support Apple Pay, with 2,707 accepting the system, 41% up on the previous year.
€13bn EU tax bill
In other news, the size of the fine Apple will have to pay to the European Commission for receiving illegal tax benefits through its Irish office is likely to be €13bn.
The commission ruled in August 2016 that Ireland's tax benefits to Apple were illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses.
Last October, the Commission threatened to take Ireland to the European Court of Justice for not enforcing the ruling and collecting the cash.
Bill finalised by April
Now Niall Cody, chairman of Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners, says that Apple’s bill – which the company disputes – is “in that [€13bn] ballpark” and that the final bill will be submitted by the end of April.
“Over 95% of the calculations are completed and we have agreed with the Commission that all our calculations will be with them before the end of April,” said Cody.
Taxes owed in US
Apple said in a statement that changes to its corporate structure in 2015 were “specially designed to preserve its tax payments to the US, not to reduce its taxes anywhere else. No operations or investments were moved from Ireland.”
“Under the current international tax system, profits are taxed based on where the value is created. The taxes Apple pays to countries around the world are based on that principle.
“The vast majority of the value in our products is indisputably created in the United States – where we do our design, development, engineering work and much more – so the majority of our taxes are owed to the US.”