Is Apple afraid of mobile payments?

Dailyfinance.com
Apple
Apple

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal has many techie sites buzzing again about Apple's (NAS: AAPL) soon-to-debut Passbook mobile wallet app. The article notes, as many have since the announcement of the new service, that Passbook does everything a mobile wallet should do -- except allow the user to pay for merchandise. This is a big exclusion, and it has some wondering why Apple is such a laggard when it comes to mobile payments.