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Study: Apple Pay leads in users, but Samsung Pay consumers more engaged

Apple Pay is the go-to digital wallet for most debit card users, according to new data from Auriemma Consulting Group.

An Auriemma study of debit card issuers shows that Apple Pay makes up 77 percent of mobile wallet transactions. Samsung Pay and Google Pay, Apple Pay's main competitors, make up 17 percent and 6 percent of transactions, respectively.

One clear reason for Apple Pay's dominance: more users. Of the "big three" payment apps, Apple Pay was the first to market when it launched in 2014 and has seen higher adoption, particularly among debit card users.

"The high adoption rate among debit card users may come down to demographics," Anita Solaman, director of Auriemma's debit management roundtable, an information-sharing group for product executives, said in a press release. "Apple users skew younger, and younger consumers are more likely to be debit users."

While Apple Pay has the most market share, Samsung Pay users are the most engaged. In fact, the average Samsung Pay user makes 7.3 transactions each month, compared to 5.5 transactions for Apple Pay and Google Pay users.

The higher engagement among Samsung Pay users is likely due to the service's wider acceptance market. Unlike Apple Pay and Google Pay, which only work with NFC card readers, Samsung Pay is also compatible with the traditional magstripe card readers many merchants still use.