With speculation over its NFC intentions reaching fever pitch, tech giant Apple is alleged to be planning to launch its own mobile payment service, with senior Apple executives reportedly in talks with retail chains over integrating the service into their stores.
The rumoured service would enable iPhone and other iOS users to make purchases at the retail outlets with their phones and devices, while the payment system underpinning it will be directly linked to the iPhone user’s iTunes account. Apple already has over 800 million iTunes accounts, meaning that the firm could have a ready-made springboard from which to launch the service. It’s likely that any Apple-branded mobile payment solution could be integrated directly into iOS devices, enabling users to make physical and online purchases.
However, Apple needs to figure out a way of integrating such a service into the disparate POS platforms and transaction processing procedures of multiple retailers. It’s no coincidence that Apple is also heavily promoting the usage of Bluetooth-based iBeacons in retail outlets, which could also potentially be a part of its payment service. Apple has promised new hardware, software and services in 2014 – and rumours continue to swirl in the industry that Apple will incorporate NFC into the next release of the iPhone.