In a recent report on mobile payments, the Wall Street Journal said, “Apple Inc. is laying the groundwork for an expanded mobile-payments service, leveraging its growing base of iPhone and iPad users and the hundreds of millions of credit cards on file through its iTunes stores.” This report does not raise eyebrows, but simply states the inevitable fact. Apple's entry into this market will undoubtedly raise the bar, with major players already fiercely competing to gain market traction over how people pay through mobile devices.
Apple Now Realizes Mobile Payment Pie is Getting Bigger and Better
According to the article, Forrester Research provided startling stats that Americans will spend nearly $90 billion by 2017 using mobile payments, from $12.8 billion in 2012. It comes as no surprise that Apple is looking for its share of the mobile payments pie. And why not? the Cupertino-based company has 575 million registered users with its iTunes store, and has sold roughly 375 million iPhones in the past five years and nearly 155 million iPads since its launch in 2010.
Apple already allows payments for apps, in-app purchases, movies, books, and music through iTunes store, however, consumers can't pay for services or physical goods, but an extra step of entering information manually often acts as a deterrent for smartphone purchases.
With iOS 7, Apple introduced new technologies that could allow for paying through an iPhone, such as a fingerprint sensor for security and an iBeacon location-based sensor that detects when someone with an iPhone is close by.
Mobile Payments: Apple a Sleeping Giant or an Underdog?
Apple is exploring different ways to expand its mobile payment options for allowing users to pay for physical goods using their iOS mobile devices via existing iTunes accounts. Eddy Cue, Chief of iTunes and App Store is in rounds of discussions with industry leaders and executives from the retail space to chart out a plan to discuss Apple's interest in managing payments for goods and services on its devices. Pursuant to the claims of Apple's growing interest in the area of mobile payment, Jennifer Bailey, the Apple executive charged with managing its online stores, has been shifted to a new role of building payment business.
While details of Apple's exact plans about mobile payment are sketchy, speculation gained momentum this month with news that Apple had applied for a patent covering payments for goods through a signal sent from a phone to a wireless receiver. This new development definitely indicates Apple's interest in allowing iPhone users to pay for goods with their phone.