Apple has decided to occupy a timid role in the mobile payment world, albeit for a temporary amount of time. This assumed plan is to allow competitors to compete over market share while Apple performs its own research and learns from its rivals’ initial mistakes. Their entry to the mobile payments world, the Passbook app, is comparatively basic by only storing digital loyalty cards, tickets, and boarding passes but omits the storage of credit card info. Little suggests that this will change in the future.
Apple engineers decided on the Passbook software because it allows the company to profit from each payment made through the service, much like their iTunes business model. By not utilizing a full-fledged wallet app Apple avoids the possibility of becoming a “bank”, which the sheer complexity of project may have required.
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Regardless of their current position, it is unlikely that Apple will ignore the mobile payment market for much longer. With mobile sector projections hitting as high as $600 billion worldwide by 2016, it is clear that at some point, Apple will dive into the market head first.