Although paying bills will never be a joyful process, we are lucky to live in a time when the actual process of making payments is easier than ever. Thanks to auto-pay features and other online conveniences, you can at least be sure that the monthly gouging of your bank account doesn’t actually require much effort on your part.
It has never been a question of if, but rather when Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) would embrace mobile payments and develop its own digital wallet. Since the iPhone 6 was first announced, many industry analysts have speculated that the new handset would incorporate an NFC chip to facilitate mobile payments; now the Wall Street Journal agrees, not only for the iPhone, but for the iWatch as well.
In Thursday's report, WSJ writers Greg Bensinger, Lorraine Luk and Daisuke Wakabayashi wrote that both as yet unannounced devices would incorporate near field communications (NFC) technology. According to sources close to Apple, "NFC wireless is central to Apple's plans to incorporate so-called tap-to-pay into its mobile devices, allowing users to pay for goods and services using credit cards stored with iTunes."
Purchasing merchandise with a mobile phone is nothing new in many parts of the world, including Japan, South Korea, Scandinavia and many other parts of Europe, but it hasn't taken hold in the U.S. yet. Google Wallet is around but it hasn't been heavily adopted thus far. Apple, seeing a future in mobile commerce, has been working fervently on such a system.
According to The Information, in recent months Apple has been in talks with many payment industry companies, including Visa, in effort to come to an agreement on a mobile payment system. People with knowledge of those discussions say that
It's no secret that Apple has been steadily progressing toward a mobile payment system. Through iTunes and the Apple Store the company already has a massive customer base and enough stored credit card information to grab the attention of retailers. Since it first debuted last year, iBeacon technology has quickly been adopted and deployed by many major retailers, including Macy's, Virgin Atlantic and Major League Baseball among others. The company also charged its online stores executive, Jennifer Bailey, with building an in-house payment system. NFC (near field communication) chips would be a key ingredient and the next logical step toward mobile payments.
In a note to investors that was shared with AppleInsider, Morgan Stanley analyst Craig Hettenbach wrote that Apple will likely adopt NFC technology and incorporate the chips in future devices, making it a "core part of its mobile payments strategy." He also pointed to a report earlier this month that claimed Apple is working with
The list of retailers using Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iBeacon technology continues to grow, as New York City pharmacy chain Duane Reade and British airline Virgin Atlantic both announce plans to deploy the Bluetooth low energy (BLE) transmitters at their places of business.
Apple's iBeacon is the company's trademark indoor positioning system that uses Bluetooth low energy technology, also known as Bluetooth Smart, to interact with mobile devices via transmitters. iBeacon first debuted at Apple's WWDC in June 2013, and the number of major retailers adopting the technology has been growing