Apple’s iPhone 6 to include m-wallet capabilities: report
Cupertino strikes deals with payments networks, retailers for m-payment app
Apple Inc has struck a deal with payment network providers, banks and retailers to add m-wallet capabilities into the upcoming next-generation iPhone, Bloomberg reported.
The next iPhone range, expected to be the iPhone 6, will be presented on 9 September and will use newly introduced near-field communication (NFC) sensors and the TouchID feature that debuted on the iPhone 5S, to enable mobile payment, according to an inside source.
Apple has reportedly made agreements with Visa, MasterCard, American Express and others to deliver the functionality.
"Love it or hate, Apple drives a lot of standards in the industry," said Ben Bajarin, an analyst for California-based Creative Strategies. "They are the mover in these markets. When they do something, the industry seems to follow."
Bajarin believes that as the US smartphone market-leader, Apple's entry into m-payments may encourage domestic retailers to take the plunge where in the past they have been reluctant.
Currently the existing 800m iTunes accounts worldwide are only used within Apple's ecosystem, which is tiny compared to the vast retail market, according to Richard Crone, chief executive of Crone Consulting LLC, which advises retailers and banks on m-payment solutions. If successful Apple could use the e-wallet feature to reap ad revenue from brands eager to reach shoppers in-store. Crone estimates that if the m-payment app is used widely and frequently it could make around $300 per year, per user.