Are Apple and Visa teaming on mobile payments for iPhone 6?

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Apple and Visa could be on the verge of joining forces to offer mobile payments users of the forthcoming iPhone 6, according to a speculative research note from Pacific Crest Securities (PCS).

Visa recently launched Visa Checkout, a service that can be used to shop online as well as via mobile app. It has also invested in a mobile payments startup, LoopPay.

The iPhone 6 is expected to be launched this September or October. If the partnership were to take shape, it would offer direct competition, and potentially negative consequences, to eBays PayPal, PCS suggest.

PCS analyst Josh Beck said: “We expect the iPhone 6 to be launched with near-field communications (NFC) and secure element technologies, which would provide Apple with a broad technology portfolio to disrupt mobile payments.

“After analysing the payments, handset, enabling technology and internet landscape, we think a partnership between Apple and Visa would make strategic sense and believe an announcement could happen as early as this fall.”

However, he also suggested that mobile payments wouldn’t necessarily result in big profits for Apple:

“Visa’s recent product announcements, most notably a new token service, could lower security hurdles that have hampered previous mobile payment projects. Visa’s new tools provide a clearer path for Apple to become a major player in mobile payments, but we still see relatively little opportunity to generate profits that would be meaningful at Apples scale.”

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