When Apple launches the iPhone 6 - as the Cupertino, California-based company is widely expected to at its event on 9 September - turning the iPhone into a pay-by-touch mobile wallet will be part of the plan.
In a move that would see Apple take on the likes of Google Wallet and PayPal, Apple is reportedly striking deals with credit card companies and banks, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express, to offer users the ability to pay for items in shops using their smartphone.
It isn't the first time it's been suggested that Apple is looking to gain a foothold in the mobile payment business, with the company reportedly hiring e-currency experts to examine the field earlier this year.
Reports suggest that the iPhone 6 will have near-field communications (NFC) technology built in, enabling users to make mobile payments via a tap of their phone. It will be the first time that NFC has been integrated into an Apple device, although rival smartphones have had such technology built in since 2013.
The communication chips will reportedly be provided by Dutch chipmaker NXP and will enable iPhone 6 smartphones to communicate with cash registers, ticket machines and, perhaps, other devices connected to a wider internet of things network.
However, while Apple is trying to make strides into mobile payments, the company may have its work cut out, given many retailers still lack the type of point-of-sale systems required to accept payments through NFC.
Even with the support of credit card and payment firms, persuading retailers to invest in costly systems which at this time may only be used by a minority of customers could prove to be a challenge.
Nonetheless, thanks to its iTunes and App Store ecosystem, Apple does already hold information about 800 million potential users, all of whom have their personal information and bank details stored within Apple servers.
Those users already highly loyal to the Apple brand potentially give the company an automatic group of customers that other smartphone makers and payment companies would struggle to attract so easily.
This paper seeks to provide education and technical insight to beacons, in addition to providing insight to Apple's iBeacon specification
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