Apple's mobile wallet launching with iPhone 6?

Apple's mobile wallet payments service may be coming as early as this autumn according to reports.

The Information has suggested that the service could launch with the release of the iPhone 6, enabling users to pay for goods with the device.

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Apparently the firm is in discussions with a number of credit card companies, with Visa already in line with the project. Essentially the user's banking information would be uploaded to the phone's virtual wallet.

As such, the phones would all contain a "secured element" to store any sensitive data. In effect, this would be a separate piece of hardware storing the owner's financial credentials, allowing Apple to not give control up to any wireless carriers.

While it appears that Apple's discussions with retailers are still in the preliminary stages, separate sources indicate that the firm has been working on the iPhone-based payments service internally.

It is thought that the project is being led by Jennifer Bailey, the former Apple Online Store chief, along with various members of staff from the iTunes and mobile hardware teams. Bailey has also hired executives from the financial world to work on the service. Former senior director for Visa Tommy Elliot joined Apple earlier this year, while Andrew McCarthy, a former mobile payments executive at J.P Morgan, has also come on board.

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It is not yet known if the payments service will tie in with Touch ID, Apple's fingerprint recognition software, but reports suggest that the firm would rely on short-range Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, rather than NFC.