PayPal is clearly feeling the threat posed by Apple’s plans to use Touch ID to facilitate payment for physical goods from other retailers: re/code is reporting that the company has offered to help.

PayPal is essentially willing to white label parts of its payment service to be used in an Apple mobile payments system — anything from fraud detection to back-end infrastructure, even possibly down to the processing of payments.

“They’re telling them, ‘We’ll do it in the background,” one of these people said. “Basically, it’s just, ‘We want to be a part of this.’”

The plea is likely as desperate as it sounds, with two of the three payment industry execs re/code spoke to saying it’s unlikely Apple has any need of PayPal’s assistance. Apple has over 575 million iTunes accounts, most linked to credit cards, and already allows purchases from its own retail stores using the Apple Store app on iPhones. Apple also has patents in place for payment via both NFC and Bluetooth electronic wallet systems, so there doesn’t appear to be any part of the process the company couldn’t handle unaided.

PayPal’s relationship with Apple seems set to remain limited to that of a payment option for iTunes and online store purchases, and a reseller of iTunes gift cards.


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