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Will Apple Embrace Proximity Payments?

Rumors of Apple’s entrance into mobile payments could become more complicated, as speculation has emerged that Apple may seek to upend the entire retail point of sale by eliminating store checkout lanes. Apple’s own stores already have done this.

Street Fight Magazine’s Michael Boland suggested in a recent blog post that Apple may move to ditch POS checkout at retailers in general by enabling proximity payments, where consumers may pay for items where they’re located in the store. The payment could be conducted with an iPhone or iPad.

“The idea is to enable shoppers to conduct roving transactions throughout retail stores by scanning items with their iPhones, paying on the spot via iTunes, then going on their way. No checkout aisles, no gum-snapping shopgirl, no 15 items or less,” Boland wrote.

In its own stores, Apple customer-service reps use tablets to conduct transactions. Whether the company plans to enhance this process remains to be seen.

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