Apple CEO Tim Cook has long noted how important China is to his company’s future. He has visited the country multiple times, meeting with business partners and government officials. Now, thanks to Tech Node, we know at least 1.6 trillion reasons why China could be so important to Apple…
The People’s Bank of China recently announced that in 2013, it handled 1.67 billion mobile payment transitions. These transactions were worth $1.6 trillion, and represented an increase of 318 percent year over year. With a population of 1.3 billion in China, this means there were 25,000 mobile payment transactions per minute in the world’s largest consumer market.
Apple has long been rumored to be working on a Touch ID-enabled mobile payments system. What would it mean to Apple to have such a mobile payments system that works on devices sold by China’s largest wireless provider? I’m sorry, I can’t hear your answer over the sound of all those cash registers.
Cook, when asked during Apple Q1 2014 conference call about Apple’s plans for mobile payments in relation to its Touch ID fingerprint scanning technology responded, in part:
The mobile payments area in general is one that we’ve been intrigued with. That was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID, but we’re not limiting ourselves just to that. So I don’t have anything specific to announce today. But 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.
Touch ID is currently only available on Apple’s flagship handset, the iPhone 5s.
In the light of the recent data breach at Target department stores, a system where you don’t turn over your credit card data to a merchant, but merely pay for your merchandise or services using your fingerprint could be quite attractive to users.
And finally, we would hope that most cashiers would be observant enough to notice if a customer uses a severed finger to complete their payment…