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The mobile payment system in the U.S. has been a tough nut to crack. Google tried with Google Wallet, and several wireless carriers are attempting to do so with a system called Isis, but nothing is really taking off amid the mainstream consumer base. Apple is going to try to change that, according to a report that again reaffirms the company's interest in mobile payments.

9to5Mac said recently that it has learned that Apple is "exploring new payments services through discussions with executives from existing payments companies." Apple apparently wants to enable a way for users to pay at check-out counters with their iPhones instead of mobile wallets, using a unified system, but 9to5Mac didn't name what firms Apple is trying to partner with to execute its plans.

Right now you can use your phone and third party apps to make payments at places like Starbucks, but Apple wants a "single payments service that could integrate with various retail stores," 9to5Mac explained. It's still trying to work out how to make that happen – but perhaps an Apple-built platform that's used by multiple retailers could be the trick.

Back in April Re/Code noted that Apple was working to fill several executive spots with folks who could help it build a new mobile payment service. At the time, a source said Apple's ambitions are "very, very serious." WWDC 2014, which kicks off on Monday, may be too soon to learn about these efforts, unfortunately.