Apple Seeks Big Share of Surging Mobile-Payments Services

Apple Seeks Big Share of Surging Mobile-Payments Services Apple isn’t about to get left out of the developing mobile-payments business. A new report says that the tech giant is preparing to expand its existing services to help consumers pay for physical goods and services with their smartphones.
In doing so, Apple will start with a formidable advantage — 575 million iTunes accounts (as of last year), most of them tied to iPhone- and iPad-carrying consumers with registered credit cards.
Meanwhile, mobile payments is growing somewhat slower than first projected, but it is still seen as exploding in come years. Forrester Research estimates that Americans will spend $90 billion through mobile payments by 2017, up from $12.8 billion in 2012.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice-president of Internet software and services, has met with “industry executives” to review Apple’s role in handling payments for physical goods and services.
The Journal also said that Jennifer Bailey has been promoted from her position overseeing Apple’s online store to a new role building a payments business.
The mobile-payments arena is getting busier fast, with Square, PayPal, Google and Stripe all maneuvering to make it easy for smartphone-carrying consumers to pay for in-store physical goods with their phones. Stripe said last week that it has received $80 million in funding that valued the four-year-old startup at $1.75 billion.
Despite Apple’s online dominance, which includes selling billions of dollars worth of movies, music, books and apps through iTunes, the tech giant has not moved its payments mechanism into the brick-and-mortar world. Apple opted not to go the NFC (near-field communication) route because of the lack of NFC technology in point-of-sale systems across the United States and a lack of interest among consumers.
However, with such features as its iTunes customer base and Passbook, which lets users store event tickets, loyalty cards and coupons on their smartphone, Apple is moving into the mobile-payments space well armed with an initial captive audience and financial resources that startups cannot match.

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