Apple may have more up its sleeve than just a mobile payment platform. According to Bank Innovation, Apple will soon launch a pilot loyalty/rewards program.
IHG International, the global hotel chain, has already been in talks with Apple about a partnership for the loyalty program.
Sources also told the site that Apple has just begun to hire for the program, which in some way is related to iTunes:
Apple is looking to hire a senior worldwide partner marketing manager for iTunes, who will be tasked to “develop digital and physical assets, programs and training materials to deploy across external partners in the U.S. and other regions.” Among other tasks, this person will work with the iTunes business, product, and engineering teams to “define requirements to create marketing briefs focused on driving customer adoption of existing and new features.” The position also requires a “deep knowledge of the retail landscape from both a physical and digital perspective” and “experience working with external agencies and vendors to consistently deliver against firm deadlines.”
A loyalty program would help serve as an exclusive feature for the mobile wallet and help draw in more credit card issuers and merchants.
Apple’s original plan was to discuss the pilot tomorrow. But the report said the recent nude celebrity photo leak could postpone any announcement.
The mobile payment platform itself should be unveiled at tomorrow’s “iWatch” and “iPhone 6” event. Both devices will feature NFC technology as a major driver.
Over the weekend, the same site reported that tokenization technology will also be used with the NFC functionality to help improve security.
Along with inking a number of partnerships with retailers like CVS, Disney, Walgreens, and Nordstrom, Apple has apparently even installed upgraded iBeacons and NFC scanners at its retail stores.
Apple seems to be jumping head first into mobile payments. As a consumer, I’m excited with the possibility of finally not having to carry around a wallet full of credit and loyalty cards.
If you’re interested, take a look at our detailed story of what we expect from tomorrow’s event. AppAdvice will be there live covering all of the latest news. Apple will also offer a live stream of the event on its site.