Apple Pay has hit the headlines this week after it was reported only 3% of iPhone 6 users have chosen to try the service since it was launched in July.

Apple Pay has hit the headlines this week after it was reported only 3% of iPhone 6 users have chosen to try the service since it was launched in July.

It’s easy to use this low figure to write off the service, but it would be wrong to do so. Apple Pay is part of a wider ecosystem of mobile payments, and this is still in the middle stages of development.

The practicalities of mobile payment are taking years to iron out, and Apple will need to grapple with the banks, payments processors and reticent retailers before Apple Pay actually becomes available to most of its customers.

It is also true that iPhone users are probably unaware of the benefits of using the service – Apple has not exactly gone big on publicising these, relying instead on the high levels of press its launches always generate.

But once it does – and it should, because it will need to educate some shoppers – it will be surprising if more don’t sign up.

There is no point putting its marketing might behind Apple Pay, however, until it is possible to use the service in more places.

While plenty of big-name retailers, from Marks & Spencer to Boots, having shown themselves willing to offer Apple Pay, its current level of use should perhaps be viewed as mobile payment’s biggest ever trial rather than a full-scale launch.

It is only once all of the major UK banks are on board, and once Apple has made an effort to recruit its users to the service, that things will become interesting.