We reported in May that Apple was expected to launch an iPhone payments system with the iPhone 6 and iOS 8.

Apple wants to replace yet another daily tool with your iPhone: your wallet. 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 The source declined to be named and requested that the identities of the companies talking to Apple not be published.

Subsequent reports echoed that same Information including naming Visa as a partner.  Re/code today reports that Apple has signed up a major American financial institution to work on its iPhone wallet program.

Apple has reached an agreement with American Express to work together on its new iPhone payments system, according to sources familiar with the talks. American Express is one of several partners Apple will need to sign up before it can launch its new payments plan, which sources say it plans to announce at its September 9 product event.

Apple’s new payments system is expected to let iPhone 6 owners use their phone in place of a credit card or cash to pay for goods in brick-and-mortar stores. Customers will present their phones at the checkout counter of partnering retailers to transmit payment information to complete a purchase. It’s not clear which retailers have signed on to accept such payments.

Apple doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel here. Many U.S. stores now accept NFC-enabled Amex, Google Wallet/Mastercard Paypass, Visa Paywave and other electronic forms of payment besides the typical credit card swipe.

Update: Bloomberg chimes in with corroboration on Visa and American Express being partners, and their report adds MasterCard to the mix.

If Apple’s iPhone 6 has NFC, and many signs point to yes, most of the hardware is already in place. The rest is just software…and politics.

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17 Responses to “Apple has reached agreements w/ American Express & MasterCard to work on iPhone payments system”

  1. Jacob Alford says:

    With the Coin, and this I’ll be set!


    • Coin will practically be dead tech by the time your “gold standard” card gets to you. Walmart and Sams Club terminals already reject swipes from chipped cards, so your Coin will be useless when other merchants start doing this and all your cards are chipped next year.


      • Chipped cards are only emerging today in the US?
        It seems like they’ve always been around here in Europe! Though no-one uses that much NFC here.


      • I always tell people that swipe won’t work, when I’m at work.
        Here in Canada we’ve been using tap/NFC to pay for about two years, and quite a number of people use it. Before my place of employment took tap, roughly 7/10 customers would try to tap the terminal before inserting their chips.
        It seems to be catching on quite fast here, as it’s the preferred way of payment say at a Tim Horton’s/McDonald’s/Star Bucks. I actually had one of the drive-thru people at Tim Horton’s rudely say “You can tap, its much faster” to me one day, but at the time my tap was broken and I needed a new card.

        (This was more of a reply to Xavier, but it wouldn’t let me directly reply to him)


  2. I think it will still be a couple of years before I can safely leave the house without my debit card. There’s too many cheap store owners that won’t upgrade their card reader.


  3. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple Tech and commented:
    I’m super excited to see this come to fruition. It’s going to be great. Can’t wait for the 9th of September.


  4. rettun1 says:

    So was this agreement reached recently, or are we only just finding out about it now? Because if mobile payments is supposed to be one of the big features for this release, this seems awfully last minute to get companies on board. But who knows


  5. Laughing_Boy48 says:

    Apple has to hit the ground running when it comes to mobile payments in order to leave rivals in the dust. Apple should have been able to partner with at least three different companies, with one of them at least MasterCard or Visa. Apple has to be taken seriously by consumers. This can’t be done half-heartedly. Apple needs to push hard to get NFC mobile payments recognized as the norm. That will drive the purchase of even more smartphones. Apple absolutely must get mobile payments right without any glitches to stop consumers from doubting it can be done properly.

    I doubt Apple wants to tip its hand to rival companies who are going to copy everything Apple does. At least this way Apple gets a head start and a firm mobile payment base.


  6. Good old cash alway gets me around, I’m not saying it’s a bad idea but what if a solar flare erupts and fries all satellites and communications? If that’s all you have and you’re in a rural foreign country, don’t you think that a bit of cash might help?


  7. Too bad that outside of the United States next to no one accepts American Express payments because their processing fee is so expensive when compared to VISA and MasterCard. Also, that doesn’t even address the fact that the iTunes (and by extension the AppStore for Mac and iOS) store outside of the United States does not support American Express payments – they only support VISA and MasterCard. For this to be a success American Express and Apple need to get their act together.


  8. myforwik says:

    Its wierd that Americia doesn’t really seem to use NFC. Having your credit cards built in to your phone would be a huge plus in Australia were basically every card is now NFC. Hopefully they have a good system setup for Mastercard and Visa world wide and that this isn’t just a USA deal.


    • myforwik says:

      Well the seedy forums are saying that the leaks come from people guessing the recovery question answers and knowing the peoples dates of birth etc.

      To stop this happening to you – turn on two factor authentication for icloud.


  9. chrisl84 says:

    Discover needs to get on board too