The buzz is heating-up (again) about the possibility that Apple will soon be making its entry into the wonderful world of mobile wallets. According to a report released yesterday by The Information, Apple has recently stepped up its efforts at launching its own mobile payments product and is far into serious talks with various payment companies to make it seamless for users to upload their credit card information into an iTunes-based wallet.
Visa is reportedly already onboard. A direct partnership between Visa (and like companies) and Apple would be a big step in bypassing a large part of the payments processing chain.
The specific details about the potential launch are a bit hazy, according to the report. Some insiders say the new service is set to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 6, though others seem to be claiming a more general fall of 2014 release.
The new wallet will include “secured element in the phones—a piece of hardware where sensitive information such as a phone owner’s financial credentials can be stored.” The exact technological advancements behind the new phone, however remain unknown. The company was reportedly once interested in integrating NFC modules into the iPhone line, though it is possible that now the company is leaning more heavily toward a solution that uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Apple has recently filed a patent that offers a very complete explanation for storing sensitive customer data using the cloud.
The Cupertino-based company has also spent much of the last few months building what to all appearances is a crack mobile payments team: Tommy Elliot, a former senior director for Visa and Andrew McCarthy, a former top mobile payments executive for J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, both joined the company earlier this year.
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