Apple Pursues Mobile Payment Services

by Matt Klassen on January 28, 2014

Apple customers are already able to access and purchase a vast array of content through their iTunes accounts, but the Cupertino Company is hoping that its paradigm altering digital media platform may be able to evolve into so much more, particularly when it comes to mobile payments. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is laying the foundation for an expanded mobile payment service, one that builds on the company’s ever-growing customer base to give users the ability to pay for physical goods and services with their iTunes account.

As the WSJ reports, Eddy Cue, Apple’s iTunes and App Store boss and one of Tim Cook’s right hand men, has already met with the barons of industry to discuss the possibility of Apple handling payments for regular purchases on its devices. Further, the company has also shuffled Jennifer Bailey, a longstanding company executive in charge of running the Apple’s online store, into a new role building a mobile payment division.

While noticeably late to the party—I’ve been writing about the stalled mobile payment revolution for the better part of three years now—one has to think that Apple enters the fray with a distinct advantage: loyal customers, and that may deliver success in a market where all others have found nothing but failure.

Having tracked the fledgling mobile payment revolution for some time now I’ve noticed one common thread: most companies in the mobile payment game are there because it seems like a logical expansion of the services they already offer. PayPal is there because people already use its online services to transfer money and pay bills, Visa is there because it wants to maintain its user base in a cardless era, eBay and Amazon are there because they already deal in goods and services: they’re all there because they think customers will use them as a bridge into the mobile payment world…and so far they’ve been wrong.

On the face of it Apple, much like Google, really has no business in the mobile payment revolution, such payment services having only a tertiary connection to the company’s core business structure. While Apple certainly sells devices that customers will use for mobile payments and while it certainly deals in digital content through its iTunes and App stores, the company has been hesitant to stray into the brick and mortar world of commerce, a place, perhaps, where Apple has felt out of its depth.

But it’s clear to me that Apple has felt the winds of consumer interest changing, and so perhaps its time to expand its purview to capitalize on the remaining obsequious loyalty of its fan base, the last remaining differentiating factor the Cupertino giant has on its competitors.

Now don’t get me wrong, Google comes with its own army of loyal users, but in the mobile payment sector it seems that customer loyalty lies more with the Android platform and less with Google itself, perhaps the biggest reason the search engine giant’s Google Wallet service has experienced a glacial adoption rate.

In fact, looking at all the players currently in the mobile payment game, one could argue that they all have their own respective legions of users. But the difference here is that no one really likes their credit card companies, online payment companies, telecommunications providers, or tech companies the way Apple customers like Apple, that sort of rabid irrational love that keeps the Apple fans reaching for their wallets…or iTunes accounts I suppose.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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Apple Interviewing Senior Payments Industry Executives – Mobile Payments on the Way? —
April 22, 2014 at 7:15 am

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