Electronic wallet Stories April 28, 2014

Apple has at least twice as many credit cards on file as Amazon

If one chart could show just how well-positioned Apple is to make a move into mobile payment, this tweet from Horace Dediu is it. iTunes has four times as many active accounts as Amazon – and since we know from Tim Cook that “the majority of those have credit cards behind them,” that means Apple has at least twice as many credit cards on file as the ecommerce giant.

There has been a little confusion around the numbers, with some sources suggesting Apple has four times as many credit cards on file as Amazon, based on a claim that “most” iTunes accounts have cards linked to them. But the actual phrase used by Cook was “the majority” – which could mean anything from 51 percent up.

Tim Cook as good as confirmed that mobile payment via Touch ID is on the way when he said in January that “it was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID” and “a big opportunity” for the company.

It has previously been reported that Apple plans to allow customers to purchase physical goods from other retailers through an iTunes account, just as can be done in Apple’s own retail stores using the Apple Store app. Just last week, Apple was said to be interviewing candidates from the payment services field.

Via Business Insider

Electronic wallet Stories January 28, 2014

When Touch ID was first rumored, there had been much speculation about whether the iPhone 5s would act as an electronic wallet, with payments to retailers authorized by fingerprint. While that hasn’t yet happened, it does now seem clear that it’s on the way.

Asked about mobile payments during yesterday’s earnings call, CEO Tim Cook gave what is, in Apple terms, a surprisingly direct response.

The mobile payments area in general is one we’ve been intrigued with. It was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID […] it’s a big opportunity …  expand full story

Electronic wallet Stories January 16, 2014

Apple keeps its options open with patent for iBeacon- & NFC-compatible secure payment system

While it seems likely that Apple is intending to eventually establish iBeacon as a wireless electronic wallet system, rather than the existing NFC system commonly used in parts of Europe and Asia, a patent filing published today incorporates both protocols. It also allows for other forms of Bluetooth payment.

The secure payment system Apple describes would work in much the same way as the chip-and-PIN cards which are well-established in Europe. Instead of transmitting your actual card details to the payment terminal, the card details are used to generate an encrypted code which is sent instead. The terminal is able to validate the code and identify the account without ever having access to the card details themselves.

As we always note with patent stories, Apple patents huge numbers of things, most of which never make it into products. But while Apple is adopting its usual wait-and-see policy where new technologies are concerned, the question of using iPhones for payment is almost certainly when and how rather than if.

Electronic wallet Stories September 27, 2013

With Apple’s iBeacon technology starting to see some real-world applications, we thought this would be a good time to take a brief look at what it is and what we might expect from it in future …  expand full story

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