Apple Pay leading the mobile wallet charge after just three weeks

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Pay has only been on the scene for a few weeks, but in that short time it has managed to advance mobile wallet use, even for its competitors.

Several major retailers are already reporting increased mobile payments, both for Apple Pay and in general. McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), one of the payment platform's early partners, has the system up and running in all of its restaurants and has since seen Apple Pay take over 50 percent of its tap-to-pay transactions.

And McDonald's isn't alone: Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) has seen the number of mobile wallet payments in its store double in the last three weeks, while Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) processed 150,000 Apple Pay transactions between October 20 and November 6, estimated at one percent of the grocer's transactions during that period.

Suffice to say, things are looking brighter for mobile wallet platforms than ever before.

"Quite frankly, a lot of it has to do with the strength of the Apple brand and how much merchants and customers love how easy the experience is," Denée Carrington, a Forrester Research analyst, told The New York Times.  "I'm not saying it's changing the landscape overnight. But this has never happened with other mobile wallets."

That doesn't mean the experience has been completely smooth, though. Toys R Us uses Apply Pay in each of its 870 stores, but said it's seen a negligible increase in mobile payments due to customers still needing to get used to the new technology.

Even with some unimpressed with Apple Pay's impact so far, enthusiasm for the system has helped spur use of other mobile payment systems. Both Google Wallet (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Softcard, alternatives to Apple's mobile platform, have seen a boost in user growth, and Softcard CEO Michael Abbott hopes that will encourage more companies to invest in NFC, making the experience even easier for customers.

Mobile payments still have a long way to go. The average shopper won't use systems like Apple Pay regularly until more retailers can accept it, and of course there's the learning curve attached to any new payment method. But for the first time, the future actually looks bright for mobile wallets.

For more:
-See this New York Times story

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