These days it is very popular to mention how many users online companies have. While it is an important metric, monetizing this asset has been difficult at best; all you have to do is look at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (News - Alert) and many others. But there is one organization which can boast a high user number, 600 million, as well as a very high number of those users being tied to credit card accounts, and that company is Apple (News - Alert). A chart by BI Intelligence highlights the incredible advantage Apple has over other organizations when it comes to this data point.
The customers Apple has are considered a very healthy user base compared to other companies. With all these valuable assets Apple has finally decided to possibly enter into the mobile payment service. This is based on recent reports the company has started the interview process with senior payments industry executives in the electronic payments business.
Although the interview process is just now taking place, Apple has been considering using the iTunes platform to pay for physical goods and services for some time, this according to a Wall Street Journal report in January of 2014. At that time Apple SVP Eddy Cue reportedly met with industry executives on the matter, while Jennifer Bailey, who ran Apple’s online stores, is now making the arrangements to build the payment business for the company by conducting the interviews.
When and if this takes place, the advantage Apple will have over other companies cannot be overstated. The hundreds of millions of credit cards currently linked to the iTunes Store is an invaluable asset which Apple can say no other company has at the moment.
One company looking to partner with Apple is PayPal (News - Alert), which only has 143 million active registered users around the world. In January of this year there were reports in which PayPal was looking to find ways in which it could partner with Apple, but there are no details about the outcome of those talks between the two parties.
Another front Apple has supposedly been considering is purchasing Square, a POS system that easily integrates into smart phones and looks like it has been designed by Apple itself, but that didn’t go through either.
It is believed Apple has taken this long to integrate a payment system because it doesn't want to partner with any other organization. With the technology and patents Apple currently has, it can introduce a service to provide a secure payment system to its 600 million customers.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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