There's gold in them thar 800M iTunes accounts

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced this week that his firm has about 800 million iTunes accounts, up from 575 million in June 2013.

During the company's quarterly earnings conference call on Wednesday, Cook expressed interest in monetizing iTunes accounts in new areas.

Mobile payments is one such area that could turn all of those accounts, most of which have credit card information attached, into a "gold mine," judges Nigam Arora, editor of the Arora Report and contributor to Forbes.

"Mobile payments is the next killer app for Apple. Apple already has credit card information for most of iTunes accounts, its iPhone 5s has a fingerprint sensor that should lead to development of better security for payments, and Apple users tend to have higher disposable incomes than the population in general," writes Arora.

In mobile payments, "Apple has an advantage over Facebook and Twitter in that it already has credit card information and the accounts have already conducted at least one transaction on iTunes. In this respect Facebook and Twitter are far behind Apple," argues Arora. "As Apple's plans about mobile payments become clear, it may become the catalyst for a major move up in Apple stock," he adds.

Re/code reports that Apple is interviewing candidates for mobile payments jobs. Jennifer Bailey, Apple's head of e-commerce, is rumored to have met with candidates for head of product and head of business development for mobile payments, the report says, citing sources familiar with the situation.

"Using those payment accounts as a foundation, the company is evaluating ways to make it easier for shoppers to buy physical products in apps and on the Web using their iPhones. The company is also considering how it might best help its customers make purchases in physical retail stores using only their phones and payment information stored in their iTunes accounts," the Re/code report relates.

For more:
- read Arora's article
- check out the Re/code report

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