Apple looks set to develop its own wireless payment system, where customers can acquire goods digitally and wirelessly through their iPhone or iPad.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple’s head of iTunes and App Store, Eddy Cue, has met with industry experts to discuss Apple’s venture into the mobile payment market.
Apple has filed for several patents in regards to wireless mobile payment, most recently encompassing the “method to send payment data through various air interfaces without compromising user data.”
Apple already has a head start on its rivals with over 500 million people registered with an iTunes account, containing personal information and credit card details. By tapping into this solid platform, Apple has the ability to reach beyond its own storefronts and use Apple IDs to process third party payments.
Apple could offer iPhone and iPad users the option of purchasing goods online through Apple ID integration, saving time and making it easier for online shoppers. Apple may consider utilising the fingerprint reader, exclusive to the iPhone 5s, to confirm online purchases in order to reduce fraud and reassure both the distributor and the consumer.
Apple may explore e-wallet technology, currently available on Android handsets that when in conjunction with the Google Wallet, allows for wireless payments at supported POS systems. With over half a billion credit cards on file, Apple could very well have retailers at its mercy if it decides to release a wireless payment solution.
Developments such as the iBeacon service, which has the ability to detect and notify iOS-7 devices in close proximity, suggests the company’s move into wireless payment solutions is not far off. Many are tipping iBeacon to be the catalyst for Apple’s push into the mobile payment market.
With growing speculation surrounding Apple’s push to enter the mobile payment market, fellow competitors in Paypal and Visa will be looking over their shoulders. If Apple can capitalise on its current customer base and roll out a mobile payment solution, we may very well be saying goodbye to the likes of Paypal.
Forrester Research estimates that Americans will spend in excess of $90 billion through mobile payments by 2017, a substantial rise from $12.2 billion in 2012.