Rumours Show Apple May (Finally) Turn Your Phone Into a Digital Wallet

By Darren Orf on at

If you would have asked me a month ago what would be some of the most talked about topics surrounding Apple's upcoming event on Sept 9th, bigger iPhones, sapphire screens, and a rumoured iWatch would definitely be my top three. NFC-powered mobile payments would rank somewhere near last place.

But all the news this week has me thinking otherwise. On Thursday, Wired obtained information that NFC would in fact becoming to the new iPhone and with it a slew of partnerships with retailers. Apple's e-wallet (iWallet?) system would join other efforts by Iris Wallet and Google Wallet, which launched back in 2011. Now Re/code reports that Apple has "reached an agreement" with American Express to integrate its services into the e-payment system, according to people familiar with the situation. This joins another report by The Information that Apple also spoke with Visa about its upcoming e-wallet ideas.

As we've seen from other rumoured devices at this upcoming event—i.e. phablet phones and smartwatches—Apple seems to have been biding its time before introducing its own mobile payment system. Although all these rumours and reports point to some ambitions ideas behind ridding us all from using credit cards, those little bits of plastic will still stick around. After all, credit cards don't need a battery.

All eyes will be on Apple when it will reportedly reveal the details of this system on Sept 9th. Despite its late start, Apple's introduction into mobile payments will bring a certain legitimacy to the technology that it's been lacking. After feeling a little stalled for three years, the two tech giants—Google and Apple—may soon have both their e-wallet systems in place. And for us that's a good thing. Similar to how these companies battle it out over hardware and operating systems, we might get to see some competition, innovation, and active steps toward a plastic-less future.