Apple's one nod to payments during its keynote address at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference is its plan to store users' credit card info in a new iCloud keychain for online shopping.
Apple's iCloud Keychain will encrypt passwords across Apple devices and enable storage of credit card numbers and expiration dates, but not the cards' security codes, said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, during the June 10 presentation.
Apple is also planning new application interfaces or upgrades for bar-code scanning and person-to-person connectivity, Federighi added. These technologies are often used in mobile payments schemes.
The two-hour presentation had no mention of a long-rumored "iWallet" app, Near Field Communication chips, or added payment capabilities to Apple's existing Passbook app.
Speculation about a payments announcement mounted last week when Apple's newest patent application indicated a move toward NFC capabilities for point-of-sale transactions or transferring of virtual money. But Apple has penned many payment patents over the iPhone's life, with few making it to market.
"I don't think Apple sees mobile payments as something that is getting a lot of consumer attention right now," says Richard Oglesby, senior analyst and mobile pay expert with Boston-based Aite Group.
Apple tends to monitor what consumers want and what competitors do and then, when the time is right, "just do it a lot better," Oglesby says.