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.

About the Author

Mike Beasley's favorite gear