May 30, 2014
Apple is in talks with directors from retail chains over a possible partnership involving its rumored mobile payment service, according to a new report by 9to5Mac. The site sheds some light on the discussions, which are said to have taken place over the last two months:
The Apple discussions with retail chains included talk about the challenges of building a single payments service that could integrate with various retail stores. Every retail outlet has unique payment and transaction practices, so building a single mobile payments solution will require extensive research from Apple, and the company appears to be in that research and development phase. Apple has also been asking retailers to survey customers regarding potential interest in paying for items with their smartphones and other mobile devices. Apple also has been seeking general insight from retail store chains to see if the companies would be interested in utilizing an Apple payments service.Apple is also said to be encouraging retailers to use iBeacons, suggesting that the company is considering including the use of its proximity-sensing technology in its mobile payment service. The service is expected to be built into iOS devices, particularly the iPhone, and designed to work in conjunction with iTunes accounts (which now amount to more than 800 million, according to Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services). It's also predicted to integrate with Touch ID. Back in January, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during a financial results conference call that mobile payment was a factor behind the fingerprint-scanning security feature introduced by Apple with the iPhone 5s. Apple's discussions with retailers regarding the service are said to be in its early stages of exploration. It is therefore unlikely that a mobile payment service will be launched by Apple in the coming weeks or months, let alone be previewed by the company at next week's Worldwide Developer Conference.