Apple looking to expand its mobile payments efforts is not really breaking news
It seems the news that Apple is looking to expand its mobile payments efforts is a popular item of news today across many of my feeds. There seems to be no real reason for this buzz other than it is probably a story that will generate some clicks. The truth is that it is no surprise that Apple are going to expanding their mobile payment efforts, they have been focused on this long before anyone else. Here is why I believe they are the one to watch?
When the Smartphone was first launched we were all busy trying to react to the immediate demand for new services from consumers and were busy building Apps to meet this demand and the new model of digital engagement. Considering Apple were the ones who created the Smartphone they had more time and opportunity than the market to change the way they operated and become focused on future opportunities rather than just reacting to the immediate demand.
Apple lodged a patient application back in 2007 for a finger print scanner that was to become iTouch in 2013. It is evident today that they did this because they understood that before mobile payments would be accepted by consumers they needed to get the balance between security and convenience just right. In 2007 mobile payments was not even an item on the digital roadmap of many major financial services organisations.
When they brought the 5s to market they also rolled out the ARMv8 processor that is called the A7. This is a 64 bit processor that provides Apple with a platform that enables them to economically create what they have called their “secure enclave”. The secure enclave will play an important role in ensuring that payment information can be stored securely on the device, which is another important step if consumers are going to adopt mobile payments.
They have over 600 million credit cards on file, some of these credit cards are already been used to make purchases within their stores today. It is only logical that they find a way to extend this to third parties.
Add to all this earlier in the year Apple filed a patient for a mobile payment system as well as rolled out iBeacon across all the Apple stores in the US that enabled any items within the store to be purchase through an iPhone.
So you do not need to be able to predict the future to draw the conclusion that Apple will be expanding their efforts in mobile payments, they have been doing this since they brought the Smartphone to market.
The only question that still appears to be on everyone lips is is will they use NFC. The fact that iBeacon has used BLE to facilitate the payment would seem to indicate they have already made their choice. But if we have learnt anything from Apple over the years it is that their next move is sometimes unpredictable.
I guess time will give us all the answer and I expect we will not have to wait too long.