Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Future of Apple and mobile payments: iCredit Revisited.

Back in September 2011, I wrote an article about Apple’s ridiculous pile of cash and how I thought that they should compete with the credit card companies.  You can read the article “Apple, why not iCredit” here.

It is has been over two years now and nothing has come of my suggestion (evidently, CEO's of multinational corporations like Apple, are not among my readership). The company's absurd pile of cash has nearly double’d in size since then.  They have $147 billion at last count.  This apparently now equates to about 10% of all corporate money in the United States.

The dream of NFC mobile payments never really took off, and I no longer think that it will.  Some companies are still pursuing the technology but apple has never embraced it.  Instead Apple has four other technologies.

Passbook: was released a year ago with iOS6.  Not a lot has happened with the technology yet but it is being used.  Over the past year , I'm sure Apple has used the public as beta testers and has by now improved it and worked out all of the kinks.  It is ready for primetime. 

Bluetooth 4.0 (aka: bluetooth low energy or bluetooth smart): Has been around since the iPhone 4s.  Apple jumped on the technology as soon as it was available.  In fact they were the first company to widely use it.  

iBeacons: With ios7 Apple upgraded its aging operating system.  It was released with much anticipation and usual fanfare.  This feature, however, seemed to slip under the media’s radar.  This is an incredible technology that has the potential to change how we shop and interact with our surroundings.

Touch ID: On September 10th 2013 Apple released the iPhone5s which included a built in fingerprint scanner.  This, I believe, was the last big piece of the puzzle.  Not only is it more convenient than a password, but it solves the security issue if, in the future, it is used for mobile payments. 

The fact that the Cupertino company has completely ignored NFC so far makes me think that Apple has decided to go another route.  These four technologies working together could make for a very seamless shopping experience.

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