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Apple preparing to move into payments - WSJ

27 January 2014  |  11299 views  |  3 Apple iPhone

Apple is preparing to take on the likes of Google and PayPal by launching a mobile wallet service for iPhone, iPad and iTunes users, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ says Eddy Cue, Apple's iTunes and App Store chief and a key lieutenant of chief executive Tim Cook, has met with industry executives to discuss Apple's interest in handling payments for physical goods and services on its devices, "according to people familiar with the situation".

Citing three unidentified sources, the Journal says Apple has charged online stores executive Jennifer Bailey with the job of pushing Apple's business into the payment industry.

Apple has built a formidable array of payments-related technology for use online and on the high street, but has yet to make the break beyond its own tightly-controlled retail ecosystem.

At its own stores, Apple customers can already pay for goods and services using cards linked to their iTunes account, and store cards on their phone using the company's Passbook app. The firm has also begun deploying bluetooth-powered devices to push offers and coupons to users as they browse the store. Added security comes in the form of a fingerprint reader on the most recent iPhone models.

More recently, Apple filed the latest in a succession of payment-related patents - the latest covering payments for goods through a signal sent from a phone to a wireless receiver.

Update: In an earnings call late yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that mobile payments was a business that "intrigued" the company and that it influenced Apple's thinking when developing the TouchID fingerprint scanner.

Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 27 January, 2014, 12:14

But how will the Payments team compete with the oh-so-important UI team for a slice of the development pie? I sense a VERY long run up to release of anything meaningful. I do not doubt that an Apple inspired payments ecosystem would be nothing short of fantastic, I just doubt that they will actually move quickly enough to make a splash.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 27 January, 2014, 12:30

Take on the likes of Google?  Does Google have something of note to take on?

Apple appears to be determined to control the environment where it interacts with its customers (online or in store)  and in a closed loop/quasi private label environment apple can build extraordinary client experiences and UI's

However, Open waters are a bit more complex, merchants who are aware of the Revenue share that Apple asks for as part of their involvement in a commercial transaction may think twice about enabling Apple to disintermediate them from their consumers.... and speaking from personal experience the Fingerprint recognition on my Iphone is a fail - appears that this is true for about 20% of Iphone 5 Users!!! http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2013/10/15/iphone-5s-touch-id-fingerprint-scanner-is-a-fail-for-20-of-users-heres-what-to-do/

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Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith - CloudZync - London | 27 January, 2014, 14:42

If Apple does do more with payments it will be to lock in people to their ecosystem, which means it wont be something that we will see adopted by the majority of large or small businesses. Rather this will be to strengthen their grip on in app purchases, purchases within their own store and via their own services, such as iTunes.

This is nothing new here...

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