Apple Reportedly Holding iPhone Payments Discussions with Retail Directors

It’s inevitable that one day your iPhone will become your wallet, and according to 9to5Mac, sources say Apple is exploring with high profile retailers on how to create such a service, echoing a similar report made by the WSJ back in January:

Executives from the Cupertino-based technology company have begun discussions with directors from retail store chains about a mobile payments service, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks. Previous reports indicated that Apple is exploring new payments services through discussions with executives from existing payments companies. These latest mobile payments-related discussions, which have occurred with retail store brands such as those that sell luxury clothing and premium goods, have taken place over the past couple of months, according to the source. The source declined to be named and requested that the identities of the companies talking to Apple not be published.

Internally, Apple has also reportedly started developing its mobile payments plans, according to separate sources, with former Apple online store chief Jennifer Bailey leading an extensive team towards the future payments feature.

Earlier this month investment firm Morgan Stanley claimed NFC would be a integral part of Apple’s future iWallet plans, while another report said the next iPhone 6 would have NFC after it was reported the company had struck a deal with China UnionPay for mobile payments. These mobile payments would use NFC-enabled SIM cards from Gemalto, the same company powering mobile wallets such as Rogers suretap.

Back in January a patent revealed the company’s plans for a secure payment method, also using NFC combined with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi as secondary way to establish a secure link when making payments.

The problem with NFC payments is not every retailer has supported terminals, so the feature can be limiting. Your iPhone as a mobile wallet is useless if there’s no way to pay inside a store. It’s up to Apple to figure it all out and surely they are taking their time to get it right.