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Up until now, the closest Apple has come to offering its own iTunes-powered payment system is the ability to store existing credit cards and login information in an iCloud-synced keychain, but the Wall Street Journal reports that the company has much more in store.

According to the Journal‘s report, Apple is planning to create a system that would allow users to purchase goods in physical stores through their iTunes accounts using an iPhone. Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of iTunes, reportedly met with executives throughout the technology industry recently to discuss the possibility of Apple entering this market.

The proposed system could be similar to the Apple Store app’s built-in payment system, which allows users to scan and pay for any item in the store from a mobile device.

With iOS 7, Apple has included a barcode scanner in its native camera API, allowing app developers to natively build various types of barcode-based apps. Prior to that, Apple introduced Passbook with iOS 6 as a way to store loyalty cards, tickets, and coupons. Mobile payments seems like an obvious next step in the evolution of these products.

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16 Responses to “Apple reportedly planning to let you buy physical goods through your iTunes account”

  1. Would iTunes Credit be allowed to be used to make purchases on physical items?

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  2. They sure won’t let you use iTunes credit, not when it’s often 20% off.I added $300 to my iTunes account that way before I learnt that you can’t use it to buy physical goods.

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    • rahhbriley says:

      Did you mean you thought you could use iTunes gift cards to purchase physical goods from the Apple Store, online or physical? If so…it doesn’t work that way, which you’ve gathered by now, but I’m not sure if that means that going forward. Granted, they’d have to address the issue your getting at; iTunes gift cards can be purchased at reduced rates. But I don’t think that would necessarily mean you couldn’t apply whatever your iTunes balance is to a physical purchase in the future if they unlock your iTunes account to pay for things. It would make more since in general for there to be a running balance of funds in your account than to have to process each purchase with another financial institution. Like when I run my iTunes balance down, I could transfer $100 from my checking account to my iTunes account, and have a balance of $100 to use before reloading again (May make for quicker authorization). But maybe they don’t go that route. The money could be in the micro processing, but that sounds complicated and not Apple like. Wonder if we will be able to virtually deposit checks into the iTunes account? As opposed to just being able to link it to a CC or debit card.

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    • Tallest Skil says:

      >>They sure won’t let you use iTunes credit

      Thanks for all the proof.

      They will explicitly be allowing you to do this.

      >>I added $300 to my iTunes account that way before I learnt that you can’t use it to buy physical goods.

      That’s the past. We’re not talking about the past. We’re talking about the future.

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  3. they forgot something: “and it will be just available in the U.S.” :-(

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  4. maybe come to the 21st century and make iTunes a website instead of a hacked together, sluggish POS!?!?

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  5. I’m seeing more of a Paypal type of service… I don’t believe they will let you spend iTunes moneys at other stores…

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  6. Larz Ulrich says:

    What crazy innovation? What is next? Will they call it Applezon? Will they launch a streaming video site and call it Appletube? The cutting edge moves never stop. BTW I own 2 macs and have had 5 iPhones (got the first one when it came out) so don’t get all bent out of shape. I like stuff Apple but they are fading fast.

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  7. 150 Billion in cash….500+ million credit cards on files through iTunes…..fingerprint i.D. with the iPhone 5S….Apple should be well on the way to forming its own Bank subsidiary though which it would issue its own virtual credit card with the iPhone in any store that would accept it…..Apple could afford to charge merchants accepting its card much less than Visa or MC……
    A NEW BALL GAME!! (let’s hope they do it)

    Long time Apple shareholder…..

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  8. If Apple get this setup by next year, and if it allows me to authorise purchases with the fingerprint scanner on the 5s then we can give one more Back to the Future prediction the big tick.

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  9. brandondv says:

    Can’t you do such thing already? In the (physical) apple store you can pay with easy pay… But I really hope they expand to other (non apple) stores!

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