People are using Apple Pay a lot, according to retailers

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It is of course too early to say if Apple’s mobile payment system will be a hit among consumers, though the early signs appear positive as iPhone-6-equipped shoppers get to grips with the new service at big-name retailers across the U.S.

According to a New York Times report over the weekend, Whole Foods saw more than 150,000 Apple Pay transactions across its 384 stores in the first three weeks following the service’s launch in October.

McDonald’s, meanwhile, told the NY Times more than half of its mobile payment transactions were processed via Apple Pay at its 14,000 U.S. restaurants over the same time period, though no data was offered on actual numbers.

Apple Pay has also succeeded in boosting awareness about mobile payment systems in general, according to both Google and Softcard, which operate competing services. This finding is backed up by Walgreens, which said mobile payments at its stores have doubled since the tech giant launched Apple Pay.

Toys ‘R’ Us, meanwhile, agreed that while the number of mobile payments had clearly increased at its stores, the figure was not particularly high because most consumers still know very little about exactly how the system works.

Apple Pay saw more than a million activations in its first 72 hours of availability, a statistic CEO Tim Cook described as “fantastic.” However, for the system to become a long-term success, the tech firm needs to sell more iPhone 6 handsets – the only Apple smartphone that supports the service – and hope that the Apple Watch, which also supports Apple Pay, proves popular with consumers. And then it’s just a matter of persuading as many retailers as possible to adopt Apple’s technology….