January 25, 2014
While the long-rumored iWatch may be its most awaited (yet still unconfirmed) future product, Apple is also said to be breeding an entirely different beast in the form of an expanded mobile payments service. This is according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal, which claims that the company is looking to leverage its iDevice user base with a great number of credit cards already tied to its iTunes Store:
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. In another sign of the company's interest, Apple moved Jennifer Bailey, a longtime executive who was running its online stores, into a new role to build a payment business within the technology giant, three people with knowledge of the move said.At present, Apple supports payments for music, movies, apps (as well as in-app purchases), and books from the iTunes Store, which includes the App Store, the Mac App Store, and the iBooks Store. Also, it allows shoppers to pay in its retail stores with the EasyPay feature in the official Apple Store app for iPhone. But Apple is yet to enable customers to pay for physical goods and services using a readily available payment method on file — something the likes of PayPal and Square have been doing Should it launch its very own mobile payments service, Apple will probably be incorporating its Touch ID fingerprint reader and iBeacon location sensor technologies. And of course, it will be taking full advantage of its impressive base of more than half a billion registered iTunes Store customers and more than half a billion iPhone and iPad users.
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