It’s always been amusing that while Apple’s Stores sell you sexy kit from Cupertino they use ugly old PDAs running Windows to process your payment. Finally it looks like that’s going to change.
AppleInsider is reporting that the EasyPay PDAs are on the way out, to be replaced by shiny new iPod Touches connected to a barcode reader and card reader. According to the report, by Christmas all Apple Stores (in the US, at least) will be taking payment by iPod.
Seeing the iPod Touch used as a payment device will certainly show that Apple’s products are about more than just entertainment. Despite being marketed as a gaming and music device, the iPod Touch is a formidable handheld computer capable of much more.
Apple could go much further if it wanted to. With the iPhone’s near-field communications capabilities, we could well be paying with our iPhones in the future. Imagine if your MobileMe account connected up to your bank or PayPal account. You could pay for that tempting new 27-inch iMac just by bumping iPhones with a staff member.
Mobile payment schemes are being tested the world over but few have seen widespread adoption yet. Someone needs to kick-start it. Apple popularised the third party mobile app, something that had existed for years before; could it do the same for mobile payment?