Analysts believe Apple will be launching an e-wallet in the next few years, with some rumors suggesting it is less than a year away from arrival. This program will allow users to save credit card information into their phone accounts and use their phones at store registers. This is similar to the already-launched Google Wallet, which is gaining ground across the country.
A new analysis suggests that Apple may have an edge over Google Wallet because of iTunes. Millions of iPhone users already have their credit card information stored on file, which will allow them to easily transition to the e-wallet software. For iTunes as a whole, there are already half a billion accounts with credit cards tied to them. The jump start could be substantial.
With this in mind, there are still some security concerns that Apple must address before launching e-wallet. The company must ensure that cards cannot be used by people who steal cell phones from others. Such a problem could lead to a new form of identity theft. There has been talk about the implementation of fingerprint recognition software in the new iPhone 5S, which could eliminate the identity verification issue. However, that technology may not be effective until at least 2014.
Apple may have yet another advantage over Google Wallet because of its affiliations with large retailers, like Walmart, Best Buy and Target. There are still no official dates for the launch of e-wallet, but all the signs point to potential success. One analyst noted that even a kick start of this magnitude will not ensure that mobile payments will work well for Apple, as the much anticipated iAds program flopped soon after it was created.
iPhone users should pay close attention for changes in the coming years with hopes that the e-wallet will indeed live up to its hype.