What’s on Your Wallet?

Sep 02 What’s on Your Wallet?

iPhone 6

It Could Be an iPhone Logo. Apple, Visa, MasterCard and American Express Partner on New iPhone Mobile Wallet

Apple’s newest iPhone will include a near-field communication chip. If you’re not familiar with it, the chip establishes a radio communication with another device by touching it or being in close proximity, usually no more than a few centimeters away. The chip in conjunction with Touch ID, the fingerprint recognition reader that first became available on the most recent iPhone, will make it possible for consumers to pay for items in a store with literally the touch of a finger.

In his article on bloomberg.com, Matt Townsend quotes unnamed sources saying the agreement between Visa, MasterCard and American Express will be “unveiled on Sept. 9 along with the next iPhone.”

Townsend interviewed analysts in the field to discover what impact Apple’s new iPhone mobile wallet would have on the market when Google and others have found retailers slow to adopt the new technology. The following has been excerpted from Towsend’s piece and edited to fit our format. You may find the complete article by clicking on this link.

Apple drives the industry

[Ben Bajarin, an analyst for Creative Strategies LLC in San Jose, California says]

“Love it or hate [it], Apple drives a lot of standards in the industry. They are the mover in these markets. When they do something, the industry seems to follow.”

For Apple, the push into creating a mobile wallet is to keep users within its ecosystem, thus creating more loyalty to its brand and demand for its products, Bajarin said. “It’s about retention, solving and adding features that keep your base engaged and keeping them loyal.”

Generating revenue from 800 m iTunes users

Apple’s move is also about generating more revenue from the roughly 800 million global iTunes accounts, which include payment information, that have already been created, said Richard Crone, chief executive officer of Crone Consulting LLC, which advises retailers and banks on mobile-payment solutions.

Could generate $300 M per year

Until now, iTunes accounts have been used in Apple’s marketplace, which is tiny compared to the vast retail market, Crone said. If Apple’s mobile wallet takes off, it could open up new possibilities as a marketing platform by generating advertising revenue from consumer brands wanting to reach shoppers while in a store. Crone’s firm estimates that a frequently used mobile wallet application could generate about $300 a year per user from advertising.

Apple’s success will largely depend on the acceptance of the retail industry, which has been wary of handing over the data gained during a transaction to a third party, Crone said. A group of chains, including Wal-Mart Stores, formed a company in 2012 to build a mobile-payment system that has yet to release a product.

Many payment-industry players to contend with

“There’s huge potential with Apple having a market-defining opportunity,” Crone said. However, “there’s lots of moving parts in payment that make the deals they did with artists and Hollywood for iTunes look like child’s play.”

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