Apple takes credit cards another small step nearer oblivion
Credit cards will take another step towards oblivion this week when Apple begins rolling out its EasyPay payment system in its US retail stores.
Apple makes it look so easy
The mobile wallet is "becoming a reality" says blogger Jonny Evans in Computer World - with Apple "plotting to turn your iPhone into an iWallet which uses iTunes as your virtual bank."
EasyPay, which is available inside Apple's own Apple Store for iOS app, lets customers buy accessories at Apple retail stores just by scanning in the barcode and completing the transaction on their iOS device.
Users enter their Apple ID and then payment is taken using the credit card associated with their iTunes account.
Evans points out, "This is a much bigger deal than it may seem." One estimate is that 15% of the world's annual 20 billion credit card are likely to be mobile by 2013.
Where next? Paying for your public transport fares using iTunes and your iPhone?
He thinks Apple will work to extend the payment opportunities it serves with EasyPay. And perhaps Google and Paypal should be worried.
"What makes Apple's iTunes approach effective is that by using its existing credit service as a bank, it achieves an immediate potential user base of hundreds of millions of people."
And he paints this futuristic scenario on renting a car:
"You won't visit the rental firm to grab the keys -- they'll just email a code to your phone. You wave your phone above the car lock, enter your PIN, and climb inside."
Evans adds, "I believe EasyPay is an Apple trojan horse as it pulls together an elegant and secure payment system based on iTunes."
Follow him on twitter @jonnyevans_cw