A Business Insider report suggests that Apple didn’t need to include Near Field Communication functionality in its iPhone 5 for the company to create a payments market disruption. It’s already torn down the counter separating buyer from seller, as illustrated by having salespeople in its stores walking around taking payments using iPad devices. But now it appears iTunes may be ready to take on a role in point-of-sale payments, too.
From the report:
Apple isn’t interested in entering the crowded battlefield of streamlining the POS with various mobile authentication standards. It’s rather moving towards a world in which the mobile device — where it owns the direct consumer touch point — is the POS. … But the kicker came last fall when Apple took the additional step to remove the sales person altogether. The Apple Store app was launched to scan physical store items via iPhone, and pay via iTunes. This seldom-discussed app could be a glimpse into the future of retail.
Apple may find its own stores full of shoppers one day soon eager and willing to pay using their iPhones and iTunes accounts, but out in the real world it will find resistance and a less eager audience willing to try a new way to pay. But it is Apple, and if it has identified an viable opportunity to bring iTunes out as a point-of-sale payments option, the chance for success would be much greater than that of a start-up seeking to introduce its own payment method to disrupt the traditional POS status quo. Apple rarely acts unless its own odds for success are very high.
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