Is iTunes the billing system of the future?

Yesterday I went to the German Apple Store to buy a couple of small gifts. When I stood near the window and turned the iPhone cases in my hands, a pretty saleswoman crept up to me and asked if she could help with something. I replied that I wanted to buy these two covers in the hole. The girl said that if I have an iPhone, then I can pay through the Apple Store application, without even going to the checkout counter. To do this, she helped me install the very application, take photos of the barcodes with the EasyPay function and confirm the payment with my Apple ID. After that, she stuck the Vielen Dank sticker on my purchases and announced that everything was ready. She added that in the future I can make purchases in the same way even without the participation of the seller (by the way, I will need to try).

In fact, this means thatApple is testing payment for goods and services using an iPhone . And it’s not necessary that this will only work in apple stores. When the technology is tested, nothing will prevent it from being implemented in any other retail or online retail network. Let's see why this scenario seems believable.

On December 6, Apple rolled out iBeacon technology to all 254 US retail stores. With its help, the visitor will be able to receive notifications on his device, depending on where in the store he is. Audio guides also work by a similar museums, however, in terms of technology, they are hopelessly behind. iBeacon uses low-power Bluetooth (Bluetooth 4.0), which all Apple devices are equipped with, starting with iPhone 4S and iPad 3. With iBeacon you can send visitors information about prices and discounts for nearby products, notifications of upcoming workshops, links to customer reviews etc ... In exchange, the store will receive not only sales growth, but also valuable data on customer behavior - at which stands they stop more often, how much time they spend in the store, etc. ... And most likely, already in 2014 Apple will open the API iBeacon for all developers, which means the technology we see everywhere. However, a living example of this already exists - the application " At the Ballpark"which uses iBeacon to navigate the stadium. Indoors, this solution looks much more attractive than inaccurate and disappearing GPS.

Another indirect sign that Apple is aiming at the electronic payment market is its fight against bitcoin. For example, on November 15, the Coinbase application was removed from the App Store, as well as several others. A formal reason for this was paragraph 22.1 of the Apple app review directive (the application must comply with the requirements of the law of all countries where it is available), but there are no laws prohibiting bitcoin yet. China doesn’t count - even Facebook is banned there, but Apple didn’t think of removing it from the App Store? Of course not. The conclusion is obvious - the Bitcoin company is disadvantageous. “Stay away from the iPhone” - as they say in Cupertino. And I see a logical explanation for this: the electronic payment market is too tidbit to give it to the hands of cryptocurrencies.

Although there is another fact that is worth mentioning. Like all corporations, Apple holds its assets in dollars (all 150 billion). Obviously, the development of bitcoin endangers the dollar itself, and therefore the company's business. However, this applies not only to Apple. I won’t be surprised if Google or Microsoft does exactly the same thing tomorrow.

The latest fact in favor of iPhones as wallets for paying for purchases is 575 million active iTunes accounts according to data for June. And their number is growing rapidly. Among the entire Internet, this is generally the largest database of credit card-linked accounts. If (when) Apple decides to go outside its store with it, then 110 million PayPal accounts will look ridiculous enough. And given the huge base of devices, a high level of user confidence and the promising TouchID technology, Apple has all the prerequisites for this step. The only question is when this will happen.

Apparently, in a couple of years it will be possible not to take a wallet with money and credit cards. The only and most convenient wallet will be an iPhone, and iTunes will be the most popular payment system.

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