During last quarter’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook all but confirmed that mobile payments will be coming to the iPhone. This always made sense: With iBeacons, Passbook, and AirDrop, Apple has all the pieces ready and now just needs to figure out how to put them in place. And if you’re wondering why Apple would pursue mobile payments, this number from the People’s Bank of China may be helpful: $1.59 trillion.
With Tim Cook having as good as confirmed that mobile payment via Touch ID is on the way, numbers released by the People’s Bank of China and reported in TechNode provide an insight into just how big the mobile payment market could be. Total mobile payments in China last year hit 9.64 trillion yen – equivalent to $1.59 trillion. Mobile transactions on just one of China’s mobile payment services reached 25,000 per minute. While China has a population of 1.3B, contrasted with around 317M in the USA, and many of those in China use a mobile device as their primary Internet connection, it still illustrates what a huge opportunity iPhone-based payments could represent for Apple.