Apple Reportedly Adding Rewards Program To Apple Pay

The mobile payment wars are heating up. On one side is Google, which is expected to make an announcement today or tomorrow at its annual Google I/O convention. And on the other side Apple, which is reportedly getting ready to provide details about changes coming to its Apple Pay mobile service, one of which will be a new rewards program.

According to The New York Times and the "two people briefed on the product" that it spoke with, Apple will unveil its rewards program during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next month. Details are sparse -- all the sources were willing to say about it is that the program will offer certain "perks" to Apple Pay users who make purchases with their mobile device.

Apple Pay

We did a bit of digging and apparently there's quite a bit of chatter surrounding Apple's mobile payment plans. According to MacRumors, rumors of a rewards program predate Apple Pay, which launched in October of 2014. One of the earlier reports suggested that Apple was working on a pilot program that would have the company partnering with third-party retailers for some kind of loyalty program.

Other rumors have Apple offering to deliver ads to Apple Pay users via iAd, and in exchange for those targeted ads, they'd receive coupons for free or discounted products.

That's all to say there are multiple different scenarios that could unfold, and we aren't likely to know the full details until WWDC next month.

In the meantime, Google will try to balance Google Wallet with Android Pay. According to NYT, Google will reintroduce Google Wallet as a peer-to-peer payments app that consumers can use to send money to one another directly from their bank accounts, while Android Pay will let merchants accept credit card payments via a mobile app. Android Pay is also expected to have a rewards program of its own.