A worried PayPal wants to help Apple in mobile payments

Re/code‘s Jason Del Rey had the scoop today that PayPal wants to help with the mobile payments system Apple is said to be developing. The eBay-owned company is offering to white-label parts of its own service to fill in any gaps in Apple’s offering, according to the piece, potentially handling things like fraud detection and/or a back-end infrastructure. Unsurprisingly, Apple seems unlikely to accept PayPal’s help, but Del Rey writes that his sources don’t rule out the possibility.

PayPal is an early leader in a mobile payments market that has yet to get legs in the U.S., but I doubt that it brings enough to the table to help Apple, which A) rarely plays well with others and B) certainly is well-positioned to kick-start the market in the U.S. But any system Apple launches is very likely to be limited to iPhone users, which account for about half of the U.S. smartphone market. So even if PayPal can’t wrangle its way into an Apple payments system, it could still provide services for all other smartphone users.