Rumors of Apple entering the online payment industry have been around for quite some time. Recently a list of patents point towards those rumors becoming a reality.
Apple is no stranger to patents, and has made multiple filings for key features that we may see in an upcoming payment platform. The most recent of the patents includes a product coined the “iWallet”, and will include a QR scan feature for security and validation purposes and “optical coupling” for invoicing. The patent list goes on with a payment feature to be included in their long awaited iWatch, a wave gesture to confirm payments, and a person-to-person payments application that will center around iTunes.
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These patents were filled not long after filing an additional one for facial recognition and the acquisition of Israeli 3D sensor startup PrimeSense who most likely will be contributing to the pay-by-wave feature. Apple has also begun piloting within Apple Stores and other participating retailers their iBeacon technology that sends deals and discount notifications directly to iOS devices depending on their location in the store. Also, Apple does boast one of the most advanced mobile security features on their flagship device the iPhone 5S with a fingerprint scanner for purchase validation.
Beside patents, acquisitions, and new technologies, Apple recently posted a job listing requesting a software developer that will “help build a next generation payment platform.” It makes sense that Apple would like to enter the payments market, given their major competitor, Google, who already offers a payment solution, Google-Wallet.
With the impressive rise in mobile sales over the last few days with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Apple dominated the sector with a 14.5% share of all Ecommerce transactions made, as opposed to Google’s Android with 2.6%. Apple already processes payments for over 575 million different cards on iTunes and the AppStore, and expanding their reach beyond their own ecosystem could very well make them one of the world’s largest payment service providers.