Most industry commentators expect the new iPhone to incorporate near-field communication (NFC), which already allows many Android phones the ability to pay at NFC-ready payment terminals. Apple is also expected to release the software to take advantage of the new hardware.
Visa recently released a payment solution called “Visa Checkout,” which customers can use for online shopping and as a mobile app. The company also recently invested in mobile payments startup LoopPay.
Apple could use its vast database of iTunes users and credit cards to jumpstart the company’s foray into mobile payments. Other Apple infrastructures already in place could also help, such as Passbook, the app designed for mobile functions like using store coupons.
According to Pac Crest analyst Josh Beck, “Apple mobile payments could be Passbook on steroids. Apple could use its large stockpile of iTunes accounts and cards on file (about 800 million), along with Passbook and a new token partnership with Visa, to provide a highly scalable payments platform.”
Many industry analysts agree that a partnership between Apple and Visa makes sense on paper, and could be announced as early as this fall.