That Apple Inc. is targeting mobile payments is a foregone conclusion, but that doesn't mean banks must take a defensive approach.

The natural instinct for some is to put Apple in the same camp that many have put PayPal Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., that of the enemy. But banks that look for ways to leverage their direct access to credit and debit card holders and relationships with merchants — key ingredients for a scalable mobile payments system — stand a better chance of thriving when Apple goes to market.

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