Mobile Payments: All Signs Point To Apple Entering The Fray

on Tuesday, Jan. 28th

I get excited about mobile payments, even though the data leaks involved can have hideous consequences. Think of it as a side effect of being a conflicted neophile.

For a while now the speculation amongst mobile payment market watchers has been that Apple is going to get into the game. Then again, observers and analysts like to speculate that Apple is going to enter just about every market imaginable. That Apple CEO Tim Cook said that mobile payments were “one of the thoughts behind Touch ID” in an investor call yesterday is huge. It is as close as we get to a product announcement from Cupertino that doesn’t involve half of the tech press corps flying to San Francisco.

The Wall Street Journal reports that iTunes accounts will be used as intermediary for payments, basically turning Apple into a bank.

Mobile payments have yet to catch on in a big way in the United States, even as they grow in popularity in Europe and Asia. The landscape is fractured with Square, PayPal, Google, and less known brands innovating without a common standard. Apple’s install base of iPhones could knock all of those services for a loop. (Sure, there are more Android handsets out there, but the software situation there is so fractured it is hard to see a single standard emerging out of that petri dish.)

H/T: 9 to 5 Mac

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