Apple plans to reward customers through the Apple Pay rewards program, which the company is preparing to launch in June.
At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) scheduled on June 8 to 12, the company will not only reveal more details about the upcoming iOS 9 and OS X—it may also introduce the Apple Pay rewards program, designed in a way so that Apple Pay customers will return to certain merchants.
Apple Pay, the mobile payment and digital wallet service, was released by Apple in October 2014. Rumors of a reward system soon started to circulate after Apple Pay was launched, but the program failed to materialize.
Apple Pay has created public awareness about mobile payment services, but it is still currently not available in many retailers in the U.S. Moreover, Apple Pay was also initially limited to iPhones at the time of launch.
The Apple Pay rewards program will now be compatible with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch.
Mobile payment systems are not a new service, and companies like Apple and Google are now busy making the most of the growing business.
"They want to be as disruptive to payments as Amazon has been to retail," said Sucharita Mulpuru, a retail and payments analyst for Forrester Research. "By being early they can shape the customer experience and expectations."
Credit cards and cash are widely accepted by merchants across the globe, but mobile wallets may also soon gain more popularity. However, in the short term, it will still be taken as a supplementary service rather than as a replacement to cash or card payments.
However, researchers predict that by 2019 the mobile payment industry will expand to $142 billion in the U.S., which is nearly three-fold of what it was in 2014.
Apple has already partnered with a number of American banks that will allow Apple Pay to work with major debit card or credit cards providers.
The exact details of the reward system are still not available; however, reports suggest that the program may integrate the iBeacon technology, which will allow merchants to send coupons and perks to iPhone owners.