Apple wants to replace yet another daily tool with your iPhone: your wallet. Executives from the Cupertino-based technology company have begun discussions with directors from retail store chains about a mobile payments service, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks. Previous reports indicated that Apple is exploring new payments services through discussions with executives from existing payments companies. These latest mobile payments-related discussions, which have occurred with retail store brands such as those that sell luxury clothing and premium goods, have taken place over the past couple of months, according to the source. The source declined to be named and requested that the identities of the companies talking to Apple not be published.
Apple has reached an agreement with American Express to work together on its new iPhone payments system, according to sources familiar with the talks. American Express is one of several partners Apple will need to sign up before it can launch its new payments plan, which sources say it plans to announce at its September 9 product event.
Apple’s new payments system is expected to let iPhone 6 owners use their phone in place of a credit card or cash to pay for goods in brick-and-mortar stores. Customers will present their phones at the checkout counter of partnering retailers to transmit payment information to complete a purchase. It’s not clear which retailers have signed on to accept such payments.
Update: Bloomberg chimes in with corroboration on Visa and American Express being partners, and their report adds MasterCard to the mix.
If Apple’s iPhone 6 has NFC, and many signs point to yes, most of the hardware is already in place. The rest is just software…and politics.