We might have received a clear hint that Apple is poised to launch an iWatch in the near future, maybe along with iPhone 6. Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, had quoted “Switzerland is in trouble” to the New York Times. This could indicate towards Apple bringing its own smartwatch.
A number of speculations have been made around the development of iWatch. The smartwatch is expected to have features like wireless charging, a custom variant of iOS and health & fitness tracking using medical grade sensors. Some are even speculating the incorporation of NFC in iWatch and the use of the device in future for active contactless payments. Tim Bajarin, a noted industry analyst, had speculated that Apple might follow Disney’s Magic Band as a use case.
Let us consider some factors that do hint that Apple might end up creating a payment ecosystem using iDevices:
- Apple’s recent association and talks of collaboration with Visa, MasterCard, Amex
- A hoard of rumours circulating around iPhone 6 incorporating NFC, with certain significant evidences showing an actual possibility
- Apple’s iBeacon technology and the potential of BLE to connect iWatch to iPhone
- Apple’s growing list of patents with some hinting at the possibility of iWallet
- Touch ID, a biometric sensor. Such sensors find vast application in payment authentication
- The fact that Apple has more than 800 million cards on file
The following illustration shows a possible scenario we have come up with:
Some recent initiatives are hinting that the industry is looking forward to Apple’s advent into the payments space.
Where are the merchants with all this?
Bank Innovation reported recently that "The talks Nordstrom and Apple have been engaged are said to be related to payments — but the extent of those talks is unclear. Apple was looking for a clothing brand with a large physical reach to join its to-be-launched payments platform, our source said, but also with an established, high-end brand. With a strong brick-and-mortar presence and a focus on digital innovation, our source said Nordstrom was a “great” pick for Apple."
At several McDonalds' restaurants a notice has been received about how-to make use of the self-installation kit for NFC and the 15 September deadline to finish training, and to be ready to accept mobile payments at Verifone terminals. Could this be linked to Apple announcement? There is high chance.
As per Shanghai mobile analyst Frank Hill, Apple has reached a deal with mobile payment provider China UnionPay. UnionPay already has collaborations with major banks in China and has also deployed around 3 million “QuickPass” POS machines across China.
Future is bright, future is Apple!
Stay tuned with us to gain more insights as the iPhone and iWatch launch approaches. The Money Event and Let’s Talk Payments would be providing an extensive coverage. The event hosts speakers from Visa, MasterCard and American Express as well. The Money Event at CTIA’s super mobility week would be one of the best places to hear about the mobile and money innovation. So be there on 9th, 10th & 11th of Sept. in Las Vegas.