PayPal Is Desperate To Be Apple’s Mobile Payments Partner

Passbook may put personal and business data together in way that makes it hard to separate them down the road.

Apple holds one of the world’s largest collection of active credit cards in the world thanks to iTunes, yet despite all that purchasing power, it has only recently begun to look into processing payments for physical goods, and PayPal is desperate to play a role in the action.

Payment industry executives say that PayPal is pitching Apple hard to let it in on the company’s rumored payment initiative, according to a report from Re/code. At this point, executives aren’t sure what type of tech Apple wants to use, or even how big a role it wants to play in the industry, but they’re willing to go as far as white-labeling their payments service, just so Apple will use it.

These people, who have spoken to contacts at both Apple and PayPal, say that PayPal is essentially willing to white-label parts of its payment service to be used in an Apple mobile payments system — anything from fraud detection to back-end infrastructure, even possibly down to the processing of payments.

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

Being able to pay for items inside brick and mortar stores with your iPhone attached to your Apple ID and credit card would bring welcomed changes to the checkout process, and Apple’s already opened the door with iBeacons.

During a call with investors this week, Tim Cook hinted that mobile payments is an area Apple has been intrigued with, while the Wall Street Journal reported last week that Mr. Fixit Eddie Cue has met with industry executives on handling mobile payments.

Our own Mike Elgan has made the case that Apple is way ahead on mobile payments already, but PayPal has launched its own initiatives to try and take a chunk out of retail transactions.

In the end though, it’s doubtful Apple will team up with PayPal because, as two of the people in Re/code’s report admit, it’s unlikely Apple will find a need to link with PayPal when it can do better flying solo.

  • Don Pope

    Nooooo, not PayPal. These are the people who will freeze your account arbitrarily, will side with obvious scammers and there’s no way to talk to them directly. Anybody but PayPal.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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