Bloomberg reported over the weekend that Apple has reached an agreement with American Express, MasterCard and Visa by which the upcoming iPhone 6 will feature direct payment capabilities. The plan is for the iPhone to work as a virtual wallet by way of a near-field communication chip, according to Bloomberg's unnamed sources. Another key component of the payment system will be Touch ID, the fingerprint recognition feature which was introduced with the iPhone 5S.
The idea is not entirely new, but it has not caught on because retailers have not adopted the necessary technology to enable it in their stores. But the iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the United States, and anticipation for the iPhone 6 has been sky-high ahead of its official unveiling on September 9, so there is now a real possibility that paying for one's goods with the touch of a finger could exit the realm of science fiction and become a widespread practice in the not too distant future.
If it is successful, the technology could provide a big boost to iTunes, whose accounts are currently only used in Apple's own marketplace. None of the companies involved have confirmed the report, and it is not entirely clear how users' credit accounts will link to the iPhone service, but the prospect of a greatly simplified, secure payment process is just one more reason to be excited for the new iPhone and all the other technology that Apple is going to be unveiling over the next few months.
That line of upcoming products includes two new operating systems, one for desktops and laptops and another for mobile devices. Specialized IT consultants can provide all the Apple support that companies will need to keep up and make the most of the impending innovations.