Apple's e-wallet could debut as soon as this fall, possibly with 'iPhone 6'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2014
A report on Wednesday claims Apple is accelerating work on a mobile payments system, or digital wallet, that could be ready by this fall, allowing customers to pay for physical goods with their iPhone instead of a credit card or cash.



Citing sources familiar with the matter, The Information reports Apple is in talks with partner companies to launch a Google Wallet competitor as soon as this fall, with some saying the service may roll out with the so-called "iPhone 6."

The people said Apple is in talks with major credit card company Visa to forge a partnership that could revolutionize the way consumers pay for goods. As noted by the publication, a direct partnership with Visa -- or similar company -- would be a huge step in bypassing the payment processing chain, saving both merchants and customers money.

With partnership talks ongoing, Apple is also working out the technology behind a mobile payments system. Sources say the Cupertino, Calif. company at one point planned to integrate near field communication modules in its iPhone lineup, though another person claims the system is to rely on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

In either case, sensitive customer information would likely be stored in an iPhone's secure enclave, or alternatively in the cloud. Apple has illustrated similar arrangements in numerous patents, one of which describes a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi solution in great detail.

Jibing with today's report, the patent notes credit card information would be stored in the cloud, akin to the method in which users refill or charge to an iTunes account.

Apple has long been rumored to be mulling an entry into the so-called "e-wallet" sector, though the company has taken a "go slow" approach. Competitor Google has charged head-first into mobile payments, integrating its NFC-based Google Wallet solution into the Android mobile operating system, while Apple has slowly rolled out additional functionality in its Passbook app.

Most recently, Apple debuted iTunes Pass, which allows customers to recharge their iTunes accounts via Passbook by taking an iOS device into any participating Apple Store. Theoretically, if the scan-to-recharge system is broadened to include major retailers, customers would be able to refill their e-wallet while checking out at a store like Target or Walmart. With Touch ID integrated into the mix, mobile payments would be secure, easy to use and, perhaps most importantly, transparent to the end user.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    [QUOTE]Apple is in talks with partner companies to launch a Google Wallet competitor as soon as this fall, with some saying the service may roll out with the so-called "iPhone 6."
    [/QUOTE]

    And not a moment too soon. Pretty much all of the pieces are in place for an Apple disruption of mobile purchase (and retail in general). Touch ID authentication and Touch ID API in iOS 8, Secure Enclave on-device encrypted storage, hundreds of millions of iTunes accounts with credit card numbers, Passbook for virtual vendor loyalty cards, iBeacon for in-store navigation and notifications, and EasyPay for zero-wait purchase and checkout (as used in 428 Apple Stores around the world). And who knows what else is in the works.

    Oh, and as for Google Wallet, I've never actually seen anybody using it. I see plenty of people using Passbook, and use Passbook frequently myself. At Starbucks, AMC theaters, CVS, AT&T Park, etc. So far only Starbucks allows for purchases though. But that can and will change.
  • Reply 2 of 38
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 324member
    "...saving both merchants and customers money." Heard that one before.
  • Reply 3 of 38
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member

    I just don't believe it's going to happen unfortunately.

     

    As far as I can see, the only way putting payment into a phone would work, would be if the phone companies could all agree on a standard, so that one "receiver" at the merchant could handle all phones.  It's not going to work if the merchant has to have one device for people with Apple phones, another for people with Android phones, another for people with Windows phones etc. as well as the existing one for cards.

     

    Much though I'd love to be able to get rid of my wallet and go entirely electronic, I just can't see it happening.

  • Reply 4 of 38
    j1h15233j1h15233 Posts: 274member
    I'm just ready for the day where all I need when I leave the house is my phone. I'm tired of keys and wallets. We're almost there.
  • Reply 5 of 38
    justp1ayinjustp1ayin Posts: 205member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

     

    I just don't believe it's going to happen unfortunately.

     

    As far as I can see, the only way putting payment into a phone would work, would be if the phone companies could all agree on a standard, so that one "receiver" at the merchant could handle all phones.  It's not going to work if the merchant has to have one device for people with Apple phones, another for people with Android phones, another for people with Windows phones etc. as well as the existing one for cards.

     

    Much though I'd love to be able to get rid of my wallet and go entirely electronic, I just can't see it happening.


     

    If apple has a deal with Visa, it wouldn't make sense to accept anyone else until they came up with their own deals. Visa can give you a 'card number' for your phone so its kind of like having an iTunes credit card, except instead of swiping it, it connects to your phone (they had Blink tech a few years back that all you needed to do was tap your card). Companies can still accept regular cards for android users, no one is going exclusive to this, plus you don't need to convince every merchant, you need to convince the banks who do their merchant services to just have this on their terminals

  • Reply 6 of 38
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post



    I'm just ready for the day where all I need when I leave the house is my phone. I'm tired of keys and wallets. We're almost there.

    I hear you, J. Me too.

     

    Hard to believe phones used to be attached to your house! :)

     

    Best.

  • Reply 7 of 38
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by justp1ayin View Post

     

     

    If apple has a deal with Visa, it wouldn't make sense to accept anyone else until they came up with their own deals. Visa can give you a 'card number' for your phone so its kind of like having an iTunes credit card, except instead of swiping it, it connects to your phone (they had Blink tech a few years back that all you needed to do was tap your card). Companies can still accept regular cards for android users, no one is going exclusive to this, plus you don't need to convince every merchant, you need to convince the banks who do their merchant services to just have this on their terminals


    Yeah, I get what you're saying, but I just think it's going to put off a huge number of merchants.  Why would they roll out new Visa machines, for the benefit of only people with Apple phones?  If there's not enough take-up at the merchants, whatever is on the phone is pretty much useless.

     

    It's not dissimilar to passbook really.  While I love it for getting into the baseball, it's pretty crappy because NHL don't support it (at least the Sharks don't), and Southwest airlines don't etc.

     

    A payment/ticketing system needs to be pretty ubiquitous for it to be a real benefit to consumers.

  • Reply 8 of 38
    tribalogicaltribalogical Posts: 1,181member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

     

    I just don't believe it's going to happen unfortunately.

     

    As far as I can see, the only way putting payment into a phone would work, would be if the phone companies could all agree on a standard, so that one "receiver" at the merchant could handle all phones.  It's not going to work if the merchant has to have one device for people with Apple phones, another for people with Android phones, another for people with Windows phones etc. as well as the existing one for cards.

     

    Much though I'd love to be able to get rid of my wallet and go entirely electronic, I just can't see it happening.


     

    Well, we're not exactly "putting payments into a phone".... this won't need to involve the phone companies at all (any more than you making an online purchase from Amazon involves your phone company). No, this is simply about providing a secure interface/communication protocol and an interface to it. These already exist as standards. How do you think many disparate companies and cards can all be processed through a single payment terminal?

     

    If, for example, a secure bluetooth connection were made to that same terminal, using a "standardized protocol" (developed as a standard that all bluetooth enabled handsets could use), then the "problem" you outlined above doesn't exist. And that's exactly how payments transactions in general are approached. Through applied standards and protocols.

     

    Again, there are already standards in place. All that needs to happen is for a device to interface with them (by whatever method: whether by swiping a card, displaying a scannable barcode, or transmitting verified & secure data over the air).

     

    Look at the "Square" scanner. Nothing different there really, plugin a magnetic card swipe into the phone, and voila, you can take credit cards... an interface between a handset and the wider 'transaction network' is established.

     

    If it's a bluetooth/wifi protocol, all the better, so long as it can be made super secure...

     

    Once the over-the-air standard takes hold, the rest is easy... and based on what I've seen already implemented in places like Singapore and Tokyo, very likely to be arriving sooner than you think.

  • Reply 9 of 38
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by justp1ayin View Post

     

    If apple has a deal with Visa, it wouldn't make sense to accept anyone else until they came up with their own deals. Visa can give you a 'card number' for your phone so its kind of like having an iTunes credit card, except instead of swiping it, it connects to your phone (they had Blink tech a few years back that all you needed to do was tap your card). Companies can still accept regular cards for android users, no one is going exclusive to this, plus you don't need to convince every merchant, you need to convince the banks who do their merchant services to just have this on their terminals


     

    Exactly.  Apple wouldn't necessarily need to handle the transactions themselves through iTunes.  And if the Visa system is open, any device manufacturer (Apple, Samsung, LG, whoever) could use it.  NFC, Bluetooth, whatever.  Pick the best solution.  So what's in it for Apple?  How does an open system and a non-exclusive deal with Visa do anything at all for Apple?

     

    Apple already has a vastly superior security system.  iPhone 5S and iOS 7 are already there and they are very tightly integrated.  iOS 8 will take that even further with its Touch ID API for developers.  Apple can and will leverage all of that to make iPhone "6" and/or future iPhones and other devices (iPad and maybe "iWatch") the only serious mobile payment ecosystem out there.

  • Reply 10 of 38
    justp1ayinjustp1ayin Posts: 205member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

     

     

    Exactly.  Apple wouldn't necessarily need to handle the transactions themselves through iTunes.  And if the Visa system is open, any device manufacturer (Apple, Samsung, LG, whoever) could use it.  NFC, Bluetooth, whatever.  Pick the best solution.  So what's in it for Apple?  How does an open system and a non-exclusive deal with Visa do anything at all for Apple?

     

    Apple already has a vastly superior security system.  iPhone 5S and iOS 7 are already there and they are very tightly integrated.  iOS 8 will take that even further with its Touch ID API for developers.  Apple can and will leverage all of that to make iPhone "6" and/or future iPhones and other devices (iPad and maybe "iWatch") the only serious mobile payment ecosystem out there.


     

    Well lets talk about whats in it for Visa... all the apple fanboys (like myself) will love to pay with this feature, and the more we do it, the more other people notice and want to do it. Sooo instead of you having to decide "american express or visa" you say "iPhone" and Visa makes the money. Will every merchant upgrade? Not yet...Ive walked into restaurants that are cash only... would it be smart to accept? Of course, data has shown iPhone users spend more on average than other users for purchases (just like CC users compared to cash)

     

    So i bring this up because if Visa has this much to gain from it, Apple could leverage that into 'exclusive' deals so Visa won't go to Samsung (or Visa can enter into exclusive deals with Apple so Apple doesn't go to MasterCard) 

  • Reply 11 of 38
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,366member

    Hum. Seems like a job for iTime/iWatch.

     

    Show me this will not coast me extra per transaction. I see plenty of merchants, notably gas stations, resorting to the old trick of quoting a credit price that is higher than cash/debit.

     

    I can actually see AAPL becoming a debit card/ financial services company. Good money in that. Skip offering credit; make it all ubitquitous debit payments. 

  • Reply 12 of 38
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

     

    I just don't believe it's going to happen unfortunately.

     

    As far as I can see, the only way putting payment into a phone would work, would be if the phone companies could all agree on a standard, so that one "receiver" at the merchant could handle all phones.  It's not going to work if the merchant has to have one device for people with Apple phones, another for people with Android phones, another for people with Windows phones etc. as well as the existing one for cards.

     

    Much though I'd love to be able to get rid of my wallet and go entirely electronic, I just can't see it happening.


     

    Exactly. I was envisioning an iBeacon device (Apple's been rumored to be making a small iBeacon device recently) that Apple could give for free to every retailer, which connects to a merchant iTunes account. Of course, it would require that little liquor store on the corner be high-tech enough to enable all this wireless technology; a lot of these stores have to scurry to the back to run your credit card, since they're not smart enough to realize that phone lines can be run past the desk in the back storage room. 

  • Reply 13 of 38
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,198member

    An "iWallet" wouldn't be a Google Wallet competitor. There would be no competition.

  • Reply 14 of 38
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,618member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

     

    Yeah, I get what you're saying, but I just think it's going to put off a huge number of merchants.  Why would they roll out new Visa machines, for the benefit of only people with Apple phones?  If there's not enough take-up at the merchants, whatever is on the phone is pretty much useless.


     

    I would think the point of the e-wallet in your iPhone is to eliminate the need for a specialized merchant device, just software and an internet connection.

  • Reply 15 of 38
    j1h15233 wrote: »
    I'm just ready for the day where all I need when I leave the house is my phone. I'm tired of keys and wallets. We're almost there.
    I hear you, J. Me too.

    Hard to believe phones used to be attached to your house! :)

    What's more, everyone used to the same ring tone. 8-)
  • Reply 16 of 38
    toysandmetoysandme Posts: 215member
    I just received two free high end cameras and I still have enough credit card points for a free trip overseas. Apple will have to try hard to get my business.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post





    And not a moment too soon. Pretty much all of the pieces are in place for an Apple disruption of mobile purchase (and retail in general). Touch ID authentication and Touch ID API in iOS 8, Secure Enclave on-device encrypted storage, hundreds of millions of iTunes accounts with credit card numbers, Passbook for virtual vendor loyalty cards, iBeacon for in-store navigation and notifications, and EasyPay for zero-wait purchase and checkout (as used in 428 Apple Stores around the world). And who knows what else is in the works.



    Oh, and as for Google Wallet, I've never actually seen anybody using it. I see plenty of people using Passbook, and use Passbook frequently myself. At Starbucks, AMC theaters, CVS, AT&T Park, etc. So far only Starbucks allows for purchases though. But that can and will change.

     

    I have a Nexus 5, the official Google phone, and Google wallet isn't even available for me to download, and never has been. Should tell you something about what a clusterfuck of a product it is. 

  • Reply 18 of 38
    customtbcustomtb Posts: 336member
    toysandme wrote: »
    I just received two free high end cameras and I still have enough credit card points for a free trip overseas. Apple will have to try hard to get my business.

    Purchases could still be linked to that point earning credit card. Apple would just act as another gateway processing the transaction between the merchant and the credit card. In that scenario Apple takes the place of things like authorize.net or paypal
  • Reply 19 of 38
    patpatpatpatpatpat Posts: 628member
    j1h15233 wrote: »
    I'm just ready for the day where all I need when I leave the house is my phone. I'm tired of keys and wallets. We're almost there.
    Better have phenomenal battery life and 100‰ coverage everywhere.
  • Reply 20 of 38
    patpatpatpatpatpat Posts: 628member
    slurpy wrote: »
    I have a Nexus 5, the official Google phone, and Google wallet isn't even available for me to download, and never has been. Should tell you something about what a clusterfuck of a product it is. 
    I have Google wallet on my nexus 5,you may have a carrier limitation. I'm on T-Mobile.
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