Apple looking to build mobile-payments service, report says

The tech giant may be planning to take on services like PayPal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

James Martin/CNET

Apple already lets users buy music, books, and apps through an iTunes account. But the tech giant has plans to expand its mobile-payment efforts, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Citing anonymous sources, the report says Apple is exploring moving beyond the realm of digital goods and letting users pay for physical goods and services -- such as clothes or a taxi ride -- with an iTunes account. The Journal says Eddy Cue, the Apple executive in charge of iTunes and the App Store, has already met with industry executives to discuss the topic.

The company has also moved Jennifer Bailey, a longtime executive who is running the company's online store, into a new role building the payments business, the article said.

Expanding into a mobile-payments business would leverage the hundreds of millions of credit cards Apple already has on file thanks to iTunes. The move would put the company in direct competition with services like Stripe and eBay's PayPal.

The space has been heating up of late. Stripe recently raised $80 million in funding, at a valuation of $1.75 billion. And activist investor Carl Icahn has also called for eBay to spin off PayPal. Later, he said Apple would make a good suitor for the mobile-payments service.

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment. We'll update this post if we hear back.

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