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Apple to expand mobile payments service- sources

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January 25
4:30 PM 2014

Sources told The Wall Street Journal that Apple is capitalizing on the increasing number of iPhone and iPad users and the hundreds of millions of credit cards in its file via its iTunes stores to expand its mobile payments service.

The people said the Chief of Apple's iTunes and App Store, Eddy Cue, has already conducted meetings with executives in the industry to talk about the tech giant's interest in taking care of payments for the purchase of physical goods and services on its devices. The report said Cue is a key lieutenant of Tim Cook, Apple's Chief Executive.

Another sign of the company's foray into the space is signified by putting one of its executives to a new role. Three people who know of the move told The WSJ that Jennifer Bailey, an executive who has been with the company for a long time and was managing the tech firm's online stores has been placed in a new role tasked with building a payment business. The sources added that Apple talked to at least five other well-known executives working in the payment industry about the job before deciding to put Bailey into the new role, the report said.

Should Apple decide to launch into the mobile payment space, it would be competing fiercely with players like eBay's PayPal, Google Inc, Square Inc and Stripe Inc. Citing a study done by Forrester Research, the report said that $90 billion will be spent by Americans through mobile payments by 2017, representing an increase from the 2012 figure of $12.8 billion, the report said.

Another payments startup Stripe Inc obtained funding worth $80 million this week that pegged the value of the four-year old firm to $1.75 billion.  Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn also urged eBay to spin off its PayPal payments business. Icahn called PayPal "a gem" of eBay's business, the report said.

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