There have been two reports in about two weeks regarding Apple and mobile payments.
1. An e-wallet type of of web service
2. Cash transfer service (older, but made public recently)
Regardless of what these patents aim to do, the above chatter clearly has Apple thinking about mobile payments.
Apple has 500 million active accounts. 500 million users with a trigger finger that already produced $3.7Billion revenue for the quarter (at a year-over-year growth rate of +20%).
At the moment Apple monetizes the 500 million users through:
1. iTunes Match
2. iCloud subscription
3. App/Software purchases
4. Rentals - Video/TV/Music
(I would like to include accessories, $1.8B, in this mix, but I will exclude such revenue.)
Adding payments to the mix adds to the increased monetization capability of 500 million users. Increasing monetization through subscriptions and services. Not bad.
ps: Apple released a Map Search API for local searches. (Improved web services.)