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How Apple’s Next OS Impacts Mobile Shopping

It’s no secret that Apple will soon release a new operating system, iOS 8 – it already set up a page where it previews some of the features. But many are wondering whether the new iPhone 6, widely believed to be launched with iOS 8 on September 9th, will disrupt ecommerce and online payments.

Several reports say the next iPhone will include a mobile wallet thanks to partnerships with major payment networks, banks and retailers, including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, Bloomberg reported, citing an unnamed source.

Slashgear said the new iPhone may include an NFC chip – that’s the “contactless payments” technology Google uses to power its Wallet. “That advancement along with Touch ID, a fingerprint recognition reader that debuted on the most recent iPhone, will allow consumers to securely pay for items in a store with the touch of a finger,” the publication surmised.

One thing that’s not rumor-based is the new way iPhone users will be able to interact with notifications. Here’s what Apple says about the forthcoming operating system in its teaser:

“Interactive notifications let you stay focused while you stay in touch. Take action on texts, email, calendar invitations, reminders, and even messages from apps like Facebook right from their notification banners – without leaving the app you’re in. Now it’s easy to quickly reply to important messages and keep doing what you were doing.”

Rob Garf, VP of Industry Strategy at ecommerce platform provider Demandware, told EcommerceBytes that with the new capabilities, notifications will become transaction opportunities. “With deeper in-app notification capabilities, iPhone users will now be able to interact with applications without explicitly opening them. What this means? Transactions could be made with a simple swipe of a finger to a notification.”

Could an Apple iPhone that takes on the role of mobile wallet be bad for PayPal? Even if Apple chose to include PayPal alongside other payment processors in its wallet, it could present challenges for the eBay unit. We’ll just have to stay tuned for the big event in Cupertino next week.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.