Is Apple Serious About a Mobile Payments Business?

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Over the past several months, rumors regarding Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) mobile payments business have grown more serious with the release of relevant patent filings and analyst predictions. Now, according to sources who spoke with CNET and Yahoo! News, the company is rumored to be hiring to new senior electronic payment positions; one head of product and one head of business development.

Speculation regarding Apple’s mobile payment business ambitions aren’t new; many posited that mobile payments were a logical next step for the company after it unveiled the Touch ID system with its sought-after iPhone 5S.

The feature can be used by the phone’s owner to unlock the device as an alternative to the less-secure 4-digit passcode that the 5C and previous iPhone models use. But perhaps more interesting is the feature’s use as a mode of identity verification and purchases at the iPhone store.

In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Apple was “laying the groundwork for an expanded mobile-payments service,” noting that Apple already has hundreds of millions of users connected to its iTunes store through their credit cards, where they can buy videos and music downloads. A mobile payments system seems like a logical next step.

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