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According to a new report from 9to5Mac, Apple executives are in discussions with directors from retail chains over a mobile payment service. Citing sources familiar with the project, the site says the talks have taken place over the past few months at ‘high profile’ retailers.

Apple has long been said to be interested in the mobile payments space, which has several players right now but no clear leader. It’s believed the Cupertino company could leverage its 800 million iTunes accounts and iPhone user base to come in and disrupt the market…

Here’s more from today’s report by 9to5Mac:

The Apple discussions with retail chains included talk about the challenges of building a single payments service that could integrate with various retail stores. 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.

The outlet adds that Apple has also begun work on an iTunes-based iPhone payments service. Former Apple Online Store chief Jennifer Bailey leads the project with a team of experts from iTunes and hardware divisions, and ex-execs from Visa and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.

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The service would be integrated into iOS devices, and offer a seamless solution that would allow you to use your iTunes-connected iPhone has a form of payment in retail stores. And instead of NFC, Apple’s service will likely use a mix of iBeacons, Bluetooth LE and Passbook.

With these talks being exploratory, Apple is not expected to announce the service at WWDC next week, or anytime soon after. It’s worth noting that this conflicts with a recent report from Brightwire, which said Apple is already inking deals in China regarding mobile payments.