Will iPhone Users Soon Pay For EVERYTHING With Handsets?
If it allowed you to earn loyalty points and perhaps entitled you to a discount, would you swipe your phone (instead of a debit card) to pay in a store or restaurant? According to this January 25th, 2011 report in Bloomberg News, Apple may soon (mid 2011? in the next version of the iPad?) start embedding chips that would allow customers to make payments in all sorts of venues directly from their bank accounts. Soon everyone may be swiping their iPads or iPhones - instead of a credit card - using “Near-Field Communication” ("NFC") a technology that can beam and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches. Although other companies see the same opportunity (to replace banks in the highly lucrative debit card business), and are rushing to embed these NFC chips in their mobile devices, millions of customers are already happily using Apple's iTunes payment system. Since they've already provided Apple with banking information - to pay for iTunes purchases of music and movies - customers may soon be using an Apple mobile device to pay for everything else. Will Apple - which started in a garage in 1976 - be able to leverage their iTunes payment system to become the largest corporation in the world?