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PayPal is itching to help Apple with its mobile payments platform

Published Jan 30th, 2014 8:15PM EST
Apple PayPal Mobile Payments

It really looks like Apple is getting into the mobile payments game. Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was working on a mobile payments system and earlier this month, Apple was awarded a patent that detailed a method for sending secure payments over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, or NFC. Also late last year, Apple began deploying iBeacons in its own retail stores, a move that many saw as a stepping stone to mobile payments in its own stores.

Hearing all these rumors, PayPal wanted to get in on the action. According to Re/code’s sources, which include three payments industry executives, PayPal wants Apple to use at least some part of PayPal’s technology in the back-end of its payment system. This could include anything from detecting fraudulent payments to actually processing the payments. But it looks like such a partnership is unlikely. According to two of the three execs Re/code spoke with, Apple wouldn’t find it necessary to partner with PayPal, although they said there is still a possibility.

“They’re telling them, ‘We’ll do it in the background,” one of Re/code’s sources said. “Basically, it’s just, ‘We want to be a part of this.’”

While it is not clear what Apple’s mobile payments system will look like, it will likely include iBeacons, Touch ID, and Passbook. On Tuesday’s quarterly earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook continued to hint at a mobile payments system.

“The mobile payments area in general is one that we’ve been intrigued with and that was one of the thoughts behind the Touch ID. But we’re not limiting ourselves just to that,” Cook said. “So I don’t have anything specific to announce today, but you can tell by looking at the demographics of our customers, and the amount of commerce that goes through iOS devices versus the competition, that it’s a big opportunity on the platform.”