Apple’s massive ‘iWallet’ advantage: Over half-billion active iTunes accounts linked to credit cards

“Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray said in a research note to investors on Friday, and provided to AppleInsider, that he believes Apple will make a push into the digital wallet space in the next few years,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider. “While some recent rumors have suggested an e-wallet could be tied to fingerprint scanning functionality in this year’s so-called ‘iPhone 5S,’ he suggested such a feature may not be likely to materialize until 2014.”

“But the key factor for Apple is iTunes: As of January, the company had more than a half-billion active iTunes accounts linked to credit cards,” Hughes reports. “Users’ existing accounts are already used for purchases on the iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore, Newsstand, and in-app purchases.”

Hughes reports, “Apple could have an advantage… because of its existing partnerships with some of the biggest retailers in the U.S.: Walmart, Target and Best Buy. He believes Apple could leverage those relationships to help kickstart its own e-wallet service.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. “Apple misses on e-wallet merchant growth, stock tumbles 1%”

    “Apple today announced 35 additional merchants have signed on to Apple’s e-wallet service, missing analyst expectations by 3 (8%). Following the news the stock is trading down by $4.05 or -1%”

  2. So Gene has learned a bit – he keeps touting the iTV coming out “this year” for the past several years, and now Apple’s iWallet (which would be easier to implement than producing a new TV anyway) is coming “in the next few years”?

    I seriously doubt Apple wants anything to do with NFC. That means adding another chip and components to an already crowded and ever-thinner phone case. Plus, with Passport and simple software (e.g., Starbucks app), you just scan your iPhone on the already-existing bar code scanner at any retailer. Much simpler and better.

  3. My question is, why isn’t any of this “advantage” reflected in Apple’s continually declining P/E? Or good lawd, suppose it is. A P/E of 9.57 for a consumer tech company shows it has no future advantage whatsoever. I’ve always surmised Apple could leverage any number of services tied to the iTunes customer account base and come up a winner, but Wall Street seems to think having that many credit card accounts is worthless. Having lots of credit card accounts work in Amazon’s favor, but not Apple’s favor. Nothing Apple has seems to have the value that is given to other companies. It just seems as if the value of Apple’s whole is worth less than the sum of its individual parts.

  4. Just because someone is willing to use an account to buy directly from Apple does not mean they will use Apple for payments. I also doubt that all those are tied to credit cards- many are tied to checking accounts (debit card).

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