Apple seeks to take advantage of customer data with new payments division

Apple has been interviewing candidates ahead of a bid to build an electronic payments division.

The firm has been canvassing potential applicants for two new positions focused entirely on creating a business around the credit cards that Apple already has on file for its millions of users.

The two vacancies are "head of product" and "head of business development". Sources from ReCode have confirmed that Jennifer Bailey, the e-commerce head for Apple, has met with candidates and is leading the project.

See more: Apple mobile payments are coming in 2014

The company has 600 million iTunes accounts on its books, in which the majority are tied to credit and debit cards. Apple is looking for ways to make it easier for customers to buy physical products through apps and on the web using iPhones.

We're seeing that people love being able to buy content, whether it's music or movies or books, from their iPhone, using Touch ID," said CEO Tim Cook.

"The mobile payments area in general is one that we've been intrigued with, and that was one of the thoughts behind the Touch ID. But we're not limiting ourselves just to that."

The fact that Apple has only just started to interview candidates indicates that although the company's ambitions may be "very, very serious," according to sources, a specific layout for the end-goal of this development is likely not settled on.

ITProPortal chatted with Visa Europe's Jon White at MWC earlier this year, who said that Apple's involvement in the mobile payments sector would be a boon for the industry as a whole, and NFC in particular.