WSJ: Apple looking to push deeper into mobile payments


The Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight that Apple is looking to develop a new mobile payment service. The outlet says that SVP of Internet and Services Eddy Cue has met with other companies regarding Apple’s plans to use its iOS devices to handle payments.

With hundreds of millions of active iTunes accounts, Apple has one of the largest credit card banks in existence. And pundits have been saying for years that the company could leverage its mega user base by coming up with some sort of mobile payment system…

The Journal’s Douglas Macmillan and Daisuke Wakabayashi have the scoop:

“Eddy Cue, Apple’s iTunes and App Store chief and a key lieutenant of Chief ExecutiveTim Cook, has met with industry executives to discuss Apple’s interest in handling payments for physical goods and services on its devices, according to people familiar with the situation.

In another sign of the company’s interest, Apple moved Jennifer Bailey, a longtime executive who was running its online stores, into a new role to build a payment business within the technology giant, three people with knowledge of the move said.

Those people said Apple also spoke to at least five other well-known executives in the payment industry about the position before tapping Ms. Bailey.”

Apple has been experimenting with mobile payment tech in its own retail stores for a while now. Its employees use iPhones equipped with credit card readers to process payments, it allows customers to purchase their own accessories, and then of course there’s iBeacon.

In 2012, the company took what many believe to be its first step into the mobile payment space with Passbook. As it stands now, the app can still only hold digital copies of transportation and event tickets, and loyalty cards, but there’s certainly some potential there.

Apple certainly has the resources, and a lot of the necessary pieces in place, to launch a mobile payment service, it just needs to get everyone on board. There’s a reason why no one in the space—Isis, Google Wallet, payWave, etc.—has been able to pull ahead. Size.

What do you make of all of this? Would you use an Apple-made payment service?