You could soon be able to pay for your shopping using just your iPhone, as Apple is apparently gearing up to launch its own digital wallet service within the next few months.
The company is reportedly in talks with several major credit card companies regarding implementing mobile payment technology in its upcoming devices, including the highly-anticipated iPhone 6, set to be launched sometime in the autumn.
A successful deal would see iPhone users able to pay for goods both online and in-store using the mobile device instead of cash, and could also extend to managing tools such as loyalty cards and vouchers.
Apple could also introduce near-field communication (NFC) technology into new devices, which allow so-called 'tap and pay" contactless services similar to those used by the likes of Barclaycard and Mastercard. Alternatively, its digital wallet could use existing Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections to facilitate the payments.
Any worries around security could be assuaged by Apple including its existing TouchID system, which scans a user's fingerprint to unlock their iPhone or iPad.
Visa, which has launched several existing mobile wallet services in the past, including one with Nationwide, is apparently in pole position for a possible partnership, with its 2.2bn cardholders forming a potential opportunity for Apple to expand its consumer base.
The computer giant already stores millions of credit cards through its users' iTunes accounts.
The company has reportedly been developing mobile wallet technology for several years, with company CEO Tim Cook expressing an interest in payment technology on an earnings call earlier this year.
"The mobile payments area in general is one that we've been intrigued with, and that was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID," he said in January.
"You can tell by looking at the demographics of our customers, and the amount of commerce that goes through iOS devices versus the competition, that it's a big opportunity on the platform."
Recent figures showed that more than 15,000 people are downloading banking apps every day, with transactions using the internet or mobile banking methods now worth £6.4bn a week up from £5.8bn last year.
Established in 1957, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, promotes wider social and economic progress through the advancement of information...