The newest version of Apple’s iPhone is rumored to include a long-anticipated mobile payment system. Though Apple made fun of the technology when it introduced AirDrop, many analysts expect the next iteration of iPhone to have Near Field Communication, or NFC, for contactless payments. Other rumors point to partnership discussions between Apple and Visa.
This would all be on top of Apple’s existing payments and security strengths. The company already has access to over 800 million registered credit cards through iTunes accounts, which could make launching the new mobile payment platform significantly easier. And as Apple CEO Tim Cook said in January, “The mobile payment area in general is one that we’ve been intrigued with. That was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID. … You can tell by looking at the demographics of our customers and the amount of commerce that goes through iOS devices versus the competition that it’s a big opportunity.”
Apple’s former head of online stores, Jennifer Bailey, has reportedly constructed a team for a mobile payments project, and former members of the Visa and J.P Morgan Chase team have recently joined the Apple family.
By 2017, Forrester Research estimates U.S. consumers will spend $90 billion in mobile payments, and Apple may just be looking to influence a large slice of that pie with the iPhone 6.