Apple CEO Tim Cook intrigued by mobile payments, calls it 'big opportunity'

Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed interest in the mobile payments space, an area the company hasn't yet ventured into, by saying mobile payment was one of the thoughts behind the technology. 

"The mobile payments area in general is one that we've been intrigued with," the executive said in response a question about the Touch ID sensor found on the iPhone 5S, during the company's Q1 2014 earnings call. 

And he added that customers had been enjoying Touch ID, able to buy content securely through the iOS App Store with a touch of their finger. He said that mobile payments could be a big opportunity for the company, but didn't have any details to share. 

Cook's words about mobile payments follows a report from The Wall Street Journal over the weekend that said Apple was working on a mobile payment service to rival Google Wallet, Paypal,and others. It would perceivably be easy for Apple to launch, given the 575 million iTunes accounts it already stores that have credit cards attached. 

In 2012, it was rumoured Apple was going to launch a mobile payment service, but of course, it hasn't yet. Instead, the company launched Passbook in 2012, an app on iOS that allows users to store couponsboarding passes, event tickets, store cards and other forms of mobile payment. It doesn't allow you to directly hook your credit card into the app, leaving many to see it as limited. 

The company is said to have moved Jennifer Bailey, an executive who once ran Apple online stores, to build the mobile payment service. 

Apple added the ability to store credit cards on an iCloud-synced keychain for buying products online in 2013. But if The Wall Street Journal is to be believed, Apple wants to take it further into the physical space, and Cook's sentiments seem to echo that.