Apple seeks to enter the mobile payment market to challenge companies already there such as PayPal, Square and others. It would seem like a bold move at first glance, but Apple has amassed a large database of credit card data from customers of its iTunes and Apple Store accounts. Apple wants to merge these elements to form a mobile payment rival to the others in the mobile payments arena. Another feature that may add security to mix is the fingerprint scanner.
Word is Apple has been shopping around the big payment services companies and may have enlisted help from Apple’s online store head, Jennifer Bailey. Apple’s mobile devices sparked a revolution within the technology, telecommunications and media industries. It would seem well positioned to make a move like this, considering that it has moved more than 500 million of their portable devices including iPods, iPads and iPhones. In the content arena, it faces competition from services like Google Play and Amazon. Those two companies have also done their share of payments services investing as well.
According to Bloomberg, Apple has around 400 million credit card users on file. It plans to use this financial data stream as leverage in its attempt to get into the payments game. Eddy Cue is the head of the iTunes and Apps Store for Apple. He is charged with taking the lead in this effort. Profits have slowed down in recent times and Chinese sales are expected to come in under expectations as well, plus the company hasn’t had a new major product release since 2010. Apple seeks entry into the mobile payment market in an effort to boost revenue.
Apple’s former iconic CEO and founder, Steve Jobs passed away and has been succeeded by Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple. So far, under Cook, the biggest innovation from Apple has been the release of the Apple iPhone 5S, a device that may open doors for mobile payment operations at Apple. The fingerprint scan currently works with confirming media and App Store purchases from Apple.
So far, Apple has not made any official announcements about the prospect of adding payments processing services to its enterprise just yet. According to sources, people familiar with the matter spoke to the press only on the condition they remain anonymous.
Events have been full of explosive excitement in the payments processing world beyond the Apple news. An investor recently expressed the idea that eBay should separate PayPal into its own independent enterprise apart from the online auction service. Stripe has raised more than a billion dollars in its brief four-year existence.
The iBeacon is another feature that investors believe will lead to innovative ways to implement a mobile payment solution for customers. Apple already facilitates in-store purchases with a credit card that is linked to the customer’s iTunes account.
Forester Research also believes the company has huge potential in this market with its massive user base and current technology. Apple seeks to enter the mobile payment market, but the question is when.
By Rob Lawson