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Apple has more than a trillion reasons to get into mobile payments

Published Feb 18th, 2014 3:20PM EST
Apple Mobile Payment Platform

During last quarter’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook all but confirmed that mobile payments will be coming to the iPhone. This always made sense: With iBeacons, Passbook, and AirDrop, Apple has all the pieces ready and now just needs to figure out how to put them in place.

And if you’re wondering why Apple would pursue mobile payments, this number from the People’s Bank of China may be helpful: $1.59 trillion. That’s how much money passed through China’s mobile payments last year. According to the report from TechNode, this represents a 317.56% year-over-year increase, and the number of transactions increased 212.86% year-over-year to 1.67 billion.

Surely numbers like that pique Apple’s interest. Mobile payments also present Apple with an opportunity to dramatically simplify the shopping experience. Right now, Americans are still swiping their plastic credit and debit cards at checkout, despite various attempts over the years to move on to new technologies.