The mobile payment system would reportedly integrated into iOS devices like the iPhone and would allow iPhone users to utilize their device as a form of payment in retail stores. The service would be directly linked to iTunes account. Apple boats over 800 million iTunes accounts with credit cards, opening the door for a mobile payment system of some kind. Even Apple's CEO Tim Cook hinted that the one of the ideas behind Touch ID included mobile payments.
The Apple discussions with retail chains included talk about the challenges of building a single payments service that could integrate with various retail stores. Every retail outlet has unique payment and transaction practices, so building a single mobile payments solution will require extensive research from Apple, and the company appears to be in that research and development phase. Apple has also been asking retailers to survey customers regarding potential interest in paying for items with their smartphones and other mobile devices. Apple also has been seeking general insight from retail store chains to see if the companies would be interested in utilizing an Apple payments service.
Apple's own iBeacon location technology could become a part of the payment service as well. The sources did say that these are very early talks, so we would not expect anything to launch in the near future. Separate sources confirm that work on an iTunes-based iPhone payment service is underway internally, and the project is being led by former Apple Online Store chief Jennifer Bailey.
While we aren't sure when we can expect Apple's mobile payment service to land, they company sure does have many tools it can utilize to make it a success.