Tim Cook on Mobile Payments: 'It's In Its Infancy'

Tim Cook was asked during today's earnings call about his feelings regarding the mobile payments market. While he didn't address the topic directly, he did note that the mobile payments were "just getting started" and still "in its infancy."

In a different part of the call, Cook said Apple would continue to augment the existing "iTunes ecosystem with new services and make existing ones even better."

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There have been persistent rumors for several product cycles that the iPhone would gain some sort of mobile payments system, perhaps through near field communications (NFC). Passbook, the system that Apple released last year to make it more convenient for customers using gift card or ticketing apps, could be a precursor to a larger mobile payments play by the company.

Apple already has a mobile payments system of sorts, allowing Apple Retail Store customers to self-checkout with the Apple Store app. The company has hundreds of millions of credit card numbers stored in its iTunes system, providing a natural groundwork for a possible future payments system.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

3282868 Avatar
101 months ago
Tim Cook has been making a lot of statements recently. I'm a bit surprised with this announcement, given that Apple was (rumored) to be releasing NFC but backed out when credit companies refused their terms in taking a percentage of NFC sales.

NFC has been around for a long time in Japan, E.U., etc. and is used for more than payments. Infiniti is releasing all new vehicles lines this summer, and NFC will be implemented as an option for locking/unlocking doors, drivers' settings, etc. It's more secure than "blink" systems. Dateline (and other security experts) have shown it is easy to steal credit card data from "blink" cards. Readers are available online for ~$100, place one in a carry wallet and wave it near someone's purse or wallet. Copy that data onto something as simple as a hotel key, make a purchase (in one case, a couple thousand dollar purchases) and no one checked to verify the card. NFC is much more secure with a short transmit range.

NFC might be "in its infancy" in North America, but it has been around for a long time in many countries.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
miamialley Avatar
101 months ago
No, mobile payment is alive and well on other operating systems and in other countries. Apple is again behind.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nikicampos Avatar
101 months ago

Tim Cook has been making a lot of statements recently. I'm a bit surprised with this announcement, given that Apple was (rumored) to be releasing NFC but backed out when credit companies refused their terms in taking a percentage of NFC sales.

NFC has been around for a long time in Japan, E.U., etc. and is used for more than payments. Infiniti is releasing all new vehicles lines this summer, and NFC will be implemented as an option for locking/unlocking doors, drivers' settings, etc. It's more secure than "blink" systems. Dateline (and other security experts) have shown it is easy to steal credit card data from "blink" cards. Readers are available online for ~$100, place one in a carry wallet and wave it near someone's purse or wallet. Copy that data onto something as simple as a hotel key, make a purchase (in one case, a couple thousand dollar purchases) and no one checked to verify the card. NFC is much more secure with a short transmit range.

NFC might be "in its infancy" in North America, but it has been around for a long time in many countries.


For it to work well, every store in the USA would have to invest/buy/change their payment terminals to NFC, so yes, the mobile payments are "just getting started."

Not to say worldwide, most countries don't even know about it, and no, I'm not going to buy an Infinity just because it has NFC, out of the top 50 cars manufacturers only one is starting to use it, so yes, it still "in its infancy."

So if Apple decides not to use a product (NFC) that will only serve less then 1% of their customer that's fine by me..
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cclloyd Avatar
101 months ago
Smartphones were in their infancy too when the iPhone came out.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bungiefan89 Avatar
101 months ago
And what exactly is wrong with just paying for things with cash?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shrink Avatar
101 months ago

And what exactly is wrong with just paying for things with cash?


I thought I was the only one who still carries, and uses, cash.

But, then again, I still wear a watch...so I'm a complete troglodyte.:o
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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