Apple is rumored to be in talks of launching a mobile wallet initiative, and it could happen as early as this fall alongside the much anticipated iPhone 6. Apple's efforts would allow iPhone owners to pay for goods in physical retail stores by using just their phones, an effort that could lead to people carrying just their iPhone rather than having to carry an iPhone and a wallet.
"Conversations between Apple and payments-industry companies have heated up in recent months, with several people briefed on the talks saying that Apple executives have discussed launching a mobile "wallet" as soon as this fall for people to use their iPhones to pay for goods in physical stores," a report on The Information reads, noting that Apple could use a secure element to store personal and financial information on the phone as added security.
Credit card issuer Visa is said to be one of those companies that is in talks with Apple right now.
Though the same report notes that Apple could use the same NFC technology that its early rivals like Google and ISIS have been using, Apple could also take an alternative route by storing the financial information in the cloud, as it does with iTunes credit cards, and communicate with merchants via Bluetooth and WiFi for payment.
NFC could be seen as a stumbling block right now in the adoption of competing mobile wallet systems from Google and ISIS as it requires additional hardware for the phone and on the merchant side to accept payment.
Rumors of a mobile payment system designed by Apple have been in circulating since before Apple launched Touch ID on the iPhone 5s and iBeacon, which could locate iPhone users within 50 meters using Bluetooth technology.
Right now, though, an Apple wallet is believed to be independent of the carriers, meaning that Apple would not have to split any transaction fees it earns, which could lead to lower costs for merchants.
In addition to payments, Apple's mobile wallet could extend to "offers by...merchants, coupon offers and redemptions, receipts," according to a recent patent filing.
Apple is not commenting on the situation, but if this pans out to be true, are you ready to ditch your wallet and upgrade to an iPhone 6 so you wouldn't need to carry both a phone and a separate wallet?
Source: The Information