iPhone 6 could bring Visa mobile payments


Apple and Visa could be joining together to offer mobile payments to iPhone 6 users, Pacific Crest Securities reported in a research note.

The move would put the resulting service in direct competition with eBay's PayPal. Visa recently launched Visa Checkout' to be used by customers online and via an app on mobile devices, as well as investing in startup LoopPay, another mobile payments service.

Predicting an imminent announcement of Apple and Visa's partnership, Pac Crest analyst Josh Beck said: "We expect the iPhone 6 to be launched with near-field communications (NFC) and secure element technologies, which would provide Apple with a broad technology portfolio to disrupt mobile payments.

"After analysing the payments, handset, enabling technology and internet landscape, we think a partnership between Apple and Visa would make strategic sense and believe an announcement could happen as early as this fall," he continued.

The joining together of Apple and Visa was previously predicted earlier in the year, would seem them entering a market that includes potential players like Amazon.com, Wal-Mart's MCX and AT&T, Verizon Communications and T-Mobile US's Isis.

"Visa's recent product announcements, most notably a new token service, could lower security hurdles that have hampered previous mobile payment projects. Visa's new tools provide a clearer path for Apple to become a major player in mobile payments, but we still see relatively little opportunity to generate profits that would be meaningful at Apple's scale," Beck added.

"For eBay, we see risk of increasing competition in e-commerce payments and think if Apple launches a mobile payment solution, it could hurt investor sentiment."

EE recently confirmed that commuters in London will now be able to use their smartphones to pay for buses via its contactless mobile payments system. Users will need to be signed up to EE's mobile network and own a Cash on Tap enabled smartphone.

The service will be rolled out to the London tube network, DLR and Overground train network from 16 September.

Contactless payment is quickly gaining popularity, with consumers using contactless card payments in 19.7 million transactions around the UK in May 2014, according to research from Visa Europe. It also revealed an 18 per cent rise in the number of people using their cards for contactless payments between April and May.

Mark Austin, director of contactless at Visa Europe, said: "[This is] driven by increased consumer awareness, the commitment of UK banks to issue Visa contactless cards and UK retailers activating contactless terminals."

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

You can get in touch with Caroline via email at caroline.preece@futurenet.com.