Apple might be launching a mobile wallet alongside the iPhone 6, according to The Information. The company is reportedly in discussion with various banking institutions and credit card associations, including Visa who has allegedly agreed to work with the unannounced payments product. The Information writes that the purported system will store a user’s financial credentials on their smartphone’s secure element, a tamper-resistant piece of hardware meant to house sensitive data. Details about how Apple intends to handle information transfer remain unclear. It is believed that the company has informed partners that it intends to utilize near-field communication chips. One of The Information’s sources has also stated that Apple may opt to focus on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi instead. If reports prove true, it looks like Apple aims to proceed without surrendering control to wireless carriers, which in turn may allow it to circumvent some of the difficulties faced by the competition.
Apple, while preparing to launch its rumoured iPhone 6 handset in September, is reportedly also working towards releasing its mobile wallet payment service later this year, and work with the new handset. The Cupertino firm has reportedly entered into discussions with credit card institutions with its plans to introduce a new service by this fall that will enable Apple users to pay for products and goods in retail shops via their iPhone device. To avail this feature, the users would have to give their banking information which will be uploaded in the “wallet”. According to a report released by The Informer (via 9to5Mac), Apple has discussed its mobile wallet payment plans with Visa, which is also said to be onboard with the project. The report also adds that the user’s banking information on the iPhone will be saved in a ‘secured element’, a piece of hardware onboard the device, and the service would run without any network carrier involvement. It is being speculated that Apple’s discussion of its mobile wallet payment service is in its preliminary stages for now. However, the report adds that the firm has already begun testing iPhone payments for iTunes and the App Store internally. This iTunes-based mobile payment project is said to be headed by Jennifer Bailey, former Apple Online Store Chief, along with her team and members from various other projects. Tommy Elliot, a former senior director for Visa, who joined Apple earlier this year, is said to be contributing his efforts. Andrew McCarthy, former mobile payments executive for J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, is also said to have Joined Apple and be chipping in with the project. If the firm actually introduces the mobile wallet payment service for the iPhone, it will probably use the Touch ID fingerprint sensor as a part of the authentication for the payment method, and forego NFC for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to enable the transfer to the PoS system.