Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is getting close to launching a mobile wallet for the iPhone and it may come out as soon as this fall with the introduction of the iPhone 6, according to a report from The Information. The report, citing unnamed sources, said that Apple has told some of its partners its system would use the iPhone's so-called secured element, which is a piece of hardware where sensitive information such as a user's financial credentials can be stored.
Apple also wants to launch a mobile wallet without giving up any control to wireless carriers, the report said. Such a stance could represent a blow to Isis, the mobile payments joint venture among AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US. Isis has said it's going to rebrand its service in order to distance itself from the radical Sunni Islamist militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, often referred to as ISIS.
Apple has been cautious about entering the mobile payments market, as other tech companies and mobile payment ventures, including Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Wallet, have struggled to gain traction. Apple could potentially be seeking to cut out other players involved in the payment processing chain, which might lower costs for merchants and lead to new deals and promotions for consumers, the report noted.
The report said Apple has discussed elements of its plans with credit card associations including Visa, as well as banks, and that Visa agreed to work with Apple's payments product. Apple and Visa declined to comment, according to the report.
The Apple wallet may use Near Field Communications technology to enable contactless transactions at swipe-and-pay point-of-sale terminals, the report said, but it added that Apple might use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi as the primary means of transferring information. Article (sub. req.)