Apple in Talks With Retailers About Mobile Payments Service

iphone_5s_touch_idApple is in talks with several high-profile retail store chains about a mobile payment service, reports 9to5Mac. Citing a source with knowledge of the discussions, the site suggests Apple is speaking with retail store brands that sell luxury clothing and premium goods to gauge interest in such a service.

An Apple-branded mobile payment solution would likely be integrated directly into iOS devices, allowing people to use their iPhones or other devices to make purchases for physical goods both on the web as well as in retail stores. Currently, iTunes customers can use their accounts to make purchases in iTunes and in brick and mortar Apple Stores, a feature Apple hopes to expand to third-party retailers.

Discussions with retailers have reportedly focused on the difficulties behind building a unified payment service to be used with multiple retail outlets, with Apple also encouraging retailers to adopt the company's Bluetooth-based iBeacons, which could potentially be used as part of a payments service in the future.

Every retail outlet has unique payment and transaction practices, so building a single mobile payments solution will require extensive research from Apple, and the company appears to be in that research and development phase.

Apple has also been asking retailers to survey customers regarding potential interest in paying for items with their smartphones and other mobile devices. Apple also has been seeking general insight from retail store chains to see if the companies would be interested in utilizing an Apple payments service.

Apple's interest in a possible mobile payment solution has been rumored for years, but gained renewed attention in early 2014, after The Wall Street Journal reported Apple was looking to develop a mobile payment service to leverage its store of more than 800 million iTunes accounts, many of which have credit cards attached.

In April, the company was said to be in talks with several senior payments industry executives about possible roles at the company and Apple has also spoken with Paypal about a possible partnership.

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, a mobile payment solution was "one of the thoughts" behind Touch ID. He has also said that Apple is "intrigued" with mobile payments, noting that there's a "big opportunity on the platform."

Apple has promised new hardware, software, and services in 2014, and it is possible that a mobile payment service could come later this year, though a set date is unclear as the company is still in the developmental stages.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

2457282 Avatar
87 months ago
Tim, Please buy Square. Their CashRegister is already based on the iPad. And I love everything they do. This is the way to go. That will allow you to integrate the square wallet with passbook and ibeacons and boom you have a solid service that already accepts all the credit cards and allows the phone to be a wallet.

Make this happen, Tim, Pleeeeeezzzzzzz
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Revearti Avatar
87 months ago
Sold. I want my phone to be my wallet.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
87 months ago

Whats the point? Pure convenience.

No, the point is security. Think it through…

How it works now: a complete stranger takes a piece of plastic you hand them and runs it through a machine, often out of your sight. Then, they bring you a piece of paper and you sign it to approve the transaction. You've just handed a stranger your personal credit card number, the security ID on back and given them a signature. Over the course of a month, you might do this what? 10 times? 20 times? 50 times? More?

How it could work: you never hand over anything to make a purchase. You (yourself) use an app on your iDevice that says you want to pay someone for something. You punch in the total amount to pay them. Your password or thumbprint represents the signature. Money changes hands. Stranger doesn't possess your account number, pin or signature but the same transaction gets done.

THAT's the point. The existing system relies on a big layer of trust. You are trusting that total strangers in often low-paying jobs will not decide to take the information you hand them and make a few purchases for themselves. You've given them all they need to do so and you do it over and over with countless strangers during the course of a month or year.

The alternative "hides" those key bits of information that makes theft by this method relatively easy without significantly changing people's ability to buy & sell. By hiding such info, the ability for the average Joe to commit theft by this method is made much more complicated.

Is it foolproof? No. But it is much better than the current method. Along with hiding the crucial bits of info, the same app can also alert you whenever transactions are being made so you could catch any attempts to charge to your account in real time. As is now, you often find out about such actions days or weeks later, often when the bill shows up and has 2 tickets to Hawaii or other surprises on it.

Why we don't see this as a paramount issue is that the bank typically makes up for the theft by just eating it. You dispute the charge, they can't prove you charged it, so they take the hit. What they would like is to stop taking the hit and instead shift that to us consumers. However, if they did that with the system as is, not only would there be huge backlash but it might make many of us stop using credit cards. They don't want that. So they're moving down this path of shifting the model from pieces of plastic to hiding the key info via mobile payments.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hurda Avatar
87 months ago

Sold. I want my phone to be my wallet.

Until you're standing in line in a shop and can't pay because their internet-access broke down.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djam Avatar
87 months ago
Why does it have to go through an Apple account? I'd far rather NFC and be able to use my banks app to pay.

I feel there are going to be a lot of other people that think this way too.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Analog Kid Avatar
87 months ago

Sold. I want my phone to be my wallet.

I still don't see the point of all this. Is it faster, easier, more secure? Am I the only person left who wants their phone to be a phone and their wallet to be their wallet? Are plastic credit cards just too big and heavy to carry around anymore?

If I get higher cash back than I do with my Amex, I'll think about it.

Cash back is the biggest scam ever. You get a percent or three discount on purchases, but they charge vendors 5%. By incentivizing you to use the card, Amex gets to skim more off of the vendors profits. It would be in the vendor's interest to give you a 4% discount for using cash, but differential pricing is forbidden by most vendor agreements.

Leaches on the free market...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...