Apple said to be working on mobile payments system

You might not know it, but you have already given Apple the opportunity to enter the mobile payments market, which it is likely to do in the not-too-distant future. Perhaps even this year.

That's because Apple already has the credit and debit card details of millions of customers using its iTunes store. In effect, you have already signed up. According to the Wall Street Journal, the next stage is already underway, with Eddy Cue, Apple's iTunes and App Store chief having met with industry executives to discuss Apple's interest in handling payments for physical goods and services on its mobile devices. In addition, longstanding Apple executive Apple moved Jennifer Bailey has been moved into a new role to 'build a payment business within the technology giant'.

From that, we can gather it's already full steam ahead on a project that will put Apple head to head with the likes of eBay (and its PayPal service) and Google, not to mention new kids such as Zapp in the UK.

If Apple does get involved, it will change the landscape of mobile payments. Apple said last year it had 575 million registered users with its iTunes store, and it has sold roughly 375 million iPhones over the past five years and about 155 million iPads since its 2010 debut. That's a very strong starting point.

No one is quite clear as to how Apple will approach mobile payments, but there is speculation that Apple could offer iPhone users the option to fill in credit-card information automatically based on a card already registered with iTunes. In addition, it could use the fingerprint scanner in the latest iPhones to complete online purchases, reducing the risk of fraud when online shopping.

Time will tell. It all sounds a little too soon for being part of iOS 8, but with Apple, you really never know. But it is coming and when it does, it will be very big news for Apple, for its users and for the mobile payments industry in general.

Source: WSJ

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