“There is considerable anecdotal evidence that Apple is preparing to invade the mobile payments space. A quick perusal of the company’s recent patent filings leads me to conclude that Apple’s engineers are indeed converging on a large scale mobile payments solution to rival PayPal,” Kyle Spencer writes for Seeking Alpha. “For instance, there’s ‘Effecting payments using optical coupling’ that describes – an infrastructure of network-based clearinghouses for maintaining the anonymity of a plurality of customers and protecting their private and financial data. The kind of anonymity you might feel a need for when your prescription filled at your local pharmacy, for example.”

“Such a system would make little sense taken in isolation, especially given the burden of HIPAA compliance. But Apple appears to be shooting for the moon,” Spencer writes. “Nothing in either Apple’s patent arsenal or professional affiliations indicates that Apple intends to back anything but itself, or share a dime of the projected $1 trillion mobile payments space with anyone but Visa and MasterCard.”

“Apple’s stock is currently in a holding pattern until new products exit the pipeline in 2014, and I expect a relatively tight trading range of $500-$550 to reflect that fact going into the next two quarters,” Spencer writes. “The burning question of the hour is whether or not the iWallet will be one of those products. I expect that the answer will be yes.”

Read more in the full article here.

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