Slideshow 11 Clues to Apple’s Plan for Payments

Published
  • May 30 2014, 12:56pm EDT
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Apple has never built an iPhone capable of making Near Field Communication payments, but we know it has been studying the technology closely for years. With its Worldwide Developers Conference taking place this week, Apple may soon reveal what it's been working on. Pictured: Apple CEO Tim Cook (Image: Bloomberg News)

Antenna Tech

A recently published patent shows that Apple doesn't want another "Antennagate" scandal when it comes to NFC. The company designed an NFC antenna that can enable payments regardless of how the phone is held. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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Retailer Outreach

Apple has also reportedly been talking to other retailers about what it would take to have a new payment system in their stores. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Lining Up the Right Technology

The foundation for NFC payments is already being established in Apple stores, which are using devices from VeriFone to accept NFC payments as well as chip-and-PIN cards. (Image: Bloomberg News)

China UnionPay

The most detailed Apple payments rumor is its reported plan to launch an NFC-based mobile wallet with China UnionPay. Such a product would require Apple to put NFC technology into its phones. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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Timing Is Everything

Apple's most popular payments device may not even be a phone. The company is reportedly building NFC into its long-rumored iWatch. (Image: ShutterStock)

Mixed Signals

An Apple patent published in January mixes NFC technology with other wireless standards that have a longer range. Under this process, an NFC signal would be used to initiate a payment, and any further communication would be handled through WiFi or Bluetooth. (Image: Bloomberg News) (Image: Bloomberg News)

Heaps of Card Accounts

Apple CEO Tim Cook not-so-subtly let the world know in April that his company has enough payments data to be a true contender. "We now have almost 800 million iTunes accounts, most of these with credit cards," Cook said during an earnings call. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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iTuned In

An Apple patent from 2012 reveals Apple's plans to link its hoard of iTunes data to an NFC payment system. The patent describes a process for card companies to send account information directly to iTunes, and enables access from multiple users for business scenarios. (Image: Bloomberg News)

iTravel

Another 2012 patent covers iTravel, a service for using NFC to buy airline tickets, check in, check luggage and board a plane. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Hiring Spree

Apple has been hiring payments experts for newly created positions within the company, according to multiple reports. Its payments initiative is headed by Jennifer Bailey, a longtime vice president of the company's online stores, The Wall Street Journal says. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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iCloudy Forecast

Apple last year unveiled iCloud Keychain, a cloud-based system for storing encrypted passwords and payments information. This product never evolved into a true "iWallet," but it could serve as the foundation for a secure mobile payment system. Pictured: Apple CEO Tim Cook (Image: Bloomberg News)