Now close to the 800 million subscriber milestone, Apple is sitting on a potential goldmine of hundreds of millions of credit cards registered by iTunes customers. If there’s any company in the world that could truly kick-start the mobile payments game, it’s clearly Apple.
Apple’s announcement of reaching almost 800 million active iTunes accounts worldwide solidifies the unique position the company is in to implement a game-changing mobile payments system. The revelation was made by CEO Tim Cook during yesterday’s financial conference call, in which he called the achievement ‘staggering’.
What makes the number all the more incredible is that fact that last time iTunes accounts were discussed by Apple in June of 2013, active accounts were said to total 575 million.
“We now have an almost 800 million iTunes accounts, most of these with credit cards. This is a staggering number,” said the CEO during Wednesday’s call.
However, it also became apparent that while iTunes account activations are on the up, actual sales via iTunes aren’t performing quite as well.
“Keep in mind, in that category there’s several things — not just the App Store kind of revenues,” said Cook when asked about revenues.
“So if you looked at App Store only, it would look a little different than what you’re saying. But in terms of your question about monetization, I do believe that we can monetize more than we are from a services point of view in existing areas and in new areas,”
“And I’m particularly encouraged that when I look at the App Store and how it’s doing, the strength was broad-based. In fact, in China, the growth was in the triple digits.”
With 800 million active iTunes subscriptions and counting, Apple is sitting on a vast archive of hundreds of millions of credit cards registered by its customers all over the world. As such, the Cupertino company is in a unique position to capitalize on its subscriber base with a mobile payments system – a project apparently well underway behind the scenes.
While mobile payments via NFC and by utilizing fingerprint security scanners on Smartphones are anything but new, not a single brand has yet managed to scratch the surface in terms of potential for mobile payments. The theory now is that Apple could in some way link iTunes accounts with its Touch ID fingerprint scanner to allow for not only iTunes purchases, but for use on the High Street anywhere mobile payments are accepted.