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Rumor hints at PayPal-like use of iTunes accounts

updated 11:20 am EDT, Tue August 4, 2009

PayPal-like iTunes use?

Apple may be willing to extend the use of iTunes Store accounts to payments beyond its own venues, according to rumors circulating Wall Street. Apple executives have allegedly been dropping hints that accounts could be used to make purchases at third-party websites, much in the same way that PayPal operates as a go-between for many online retailers. iTunes users can already make limited purchases from third-party companies through some iPhone apps.

A significant obstacle could be the cut taken from retailers, as Apple would have to charge a separate rate than it does elsewhere. In-app iPhone purchases, for instance, return 30 percent in revenue to Apple, more than most retailers may be willing to tolerate. Apple could also have little incentive to support outside businesses, as these would not drive hardware sales in the same way as content sold directly from iTunes.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Subway tie-in

    I for one would love a system like in Japan where we could walk up to a subway turnstile, swipe our phone and walk in. And have it on NYC buses too so I don't have to worry about whether I have enough cash on the my cash metro card.

    Retail tie-ins would be cool too. Have a Target app be able to check inventory and location, then pay for it via iTunes account, have items waiting for you when you arrive.

    I would be so BROKE if all this stuff came to fruition.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Ideas

    I like Apple's thinking outside of the box... this may be a possible business spin off, extra dollars. Heaven knows I would like an alternative to the egregious charges of PayPal for certain kinds of transactions. Apple may not be able to do it, but some "hi-profile" company might be able to pull this off. And "cmoney" has some great comments. keep on thinking everyone!

  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    In the back door again

    Has anyone noticed that the iTunes software is a browser for selling media. Adding the whole commercial world of things to sell to its broad ready to buy consumer list should really take off. Just think a browser for buyers that is already installed with billions of sales to date and hooked to Apple instant gratification machines. Wow.

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Proceed with caution

    Hopefully this system wouldn't be QUITE as prone to fraud as PayPal is.

  1. chromos

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Starbucks

    Whatever happened with that rumor about being able to purchase Starbucks items with your iPhone on the shop's wi-fi network? I could see a payment tie-in there.

  1. Geobunny

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    PayPal payments

    I'd just be happy if we could pay for items on the iTMS using a PayPal account. I seem to remember them starting that in the US at some point, but I don't think it ever got any further. It certainly never made it to the UK.

    I love cmoney's idea but that would actually be quite easy to do. All you need is an iPhone app capable of displaying a barcode and then a barcode reader on the buses/underground. It'd be superb.

  1. G4_Kessel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    iTunes

    Is it me, or does the name iTunes seem a little long in the tooth these days? I mean, I understand the branding and the word iTunes is becoming a household name. However, the word "tunes" seems so limiting in comparison to what it actually does these days. iTunes is music, videos, movies, TV shows, ring tones games and apps. Now they're talking about using it for purchases similar to PayPal, so that would be adding "payments" to that list. For the last couple years I have been saying they should probably rename it. Thoughts?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    huh?

    A significant obstacle could be the cut taken from retailers, as Apple would have to charge a separate rate than it does elsewhere. In-app iPhone purchases, for instance, return 30 percent in revenue to Apple, more than most retailers may be willing to tolerate.

    That 30% is supposedly all about running the AppStore. There would be no reason Apple would charge that, besides the fact that NO retailer would ever agree to it. They already hate giving Visa/MC the kickbacks they get, and that's nowhere close to 30%.

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Yeah

    G4_Kessel, I agree. It's past time for iTunes to be overhauled. Lately I've been thinking how cumbersome the interface is, and the name is silly now. But as you say, it's a huge brand and still gives Apple value. All the same, a major overhaul would be a great chance to give it a new name.

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