Tech giant Apple is looking to expand their mobile payments service to include physical goods, according to The Wall Street Journal.
They report that Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services – including iTunes Store- has met with industry executives to discuss expanding Apple’s payment options to physical goods.
Currently, users with an iTunes account can purchase music, books, apps and movies through the store, but not from third party retailers selling physical goods and services.
The Journal also says the company has put head of online stores, Jennifer Bailey, in charge of building the new payment business.
Denee Carrington, analyst at Forrester Research, said: “Apple is absolutely the sleeping giant in the payments world.
“They have the capability; they just haven’t tied it all together.
“If Apple is in the game, it certainly changes the space and would make merchants think differently about who to partner with.”
Mobile payments are estimated by Forrester Research to reach $90m by 2017, up from $12.8m in 2012.
Movement into physical payments would be a huge moment for the industry, as Apple has 600m users with credit cards on file, compared to PayPal’s 137m.
Apple have made some inroads into offering services for retailers outside the iTunes Store, such as ticketing app Passbook, and location-sensor iBeacons.
And their new fingerprint Touch ID is already being used to make quick iTunes Store payments, and would certainly lend itself well to fast mobile payments.
Last April Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, said that mobile payments were “just getting started” and still “in its infancy.”
Investor Carl Icahn has been pushing Apple to invest in mobile payments.
In a letter to Apple shareholders, he said: “We believe a revolutionary payments solution is now a very real opportunity that the company could choose to pursue.”
The company said last year it had 575m registered iTunes Store users, and have sold roughly 375m iPhones over the past five years and about 155m iPads since its 2010 release.
Apple would be competing against PayPal, Google Checkout and startups Square and Stripe – who recently received $80m funding and were valued at $1.75bn.
Read The Wall Street Journal’s Report here.