More Hints that Apple is Working on an NFC Payment System on the Next iPhone

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's interest in incorporating Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities into the iPhone has been long rumored. Near Field Communications is short range wireless communication technology (~4 inches) that is used in mobile phones for a variety of applications including mobile payments.

One of the more credible reports about that possibility came from the New York Times in March 2011. The newspaper reported that Apple was interested in incorporating NFC into a future iPhone, but was unable to specify when:
According to two people with knowledge of the inner workings of a coming iteration of the Apple iPhone - although not necessarily the next one - a chip made by Qualcomm for the phone's processor will also include near-field communication technology, known as N.F.C. This technology enables short-range wireless communications between the phone and an N.F.C reader, and can be used to make mobile payments. It is unclear which version of an iPhone this technology would be built into.
The New York Times believed that Apple would offer a solution that would somehow integrate with users' iTunes accounts to offer payments.



Rumors went back and forth about it happening in 2011, but ultimately settled on expectations that we wouldn't see an integrated solution until the 2012 iPhone revision.

A Fast Company interview from last week tried to pin down if Apple was one of Mastercard's future NFC partners, to which the executive seemed to falter, giving an excuse about confidentiality.
"The timeline is always as rapid as it makes sense for consumers," he says. "That's a combination of having a critical mass of the merchants, which is what you're seeing right now, and getting devices into the hands of consumers. I don't know of a handset manufacturer that isn't in process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready."

So that would include Apple then?

"Um, there are...like I say, [I don't know of] any handset maker out there," McLaughlin says. "Now, when we have discussions with our partners, and they ask us not to disclose them, we don't."
And now, at Macworld, it seems at least one developer told 9to5Mac that they were hearing the same hints from Apple iOS engineers that the company is "heavy into NFC". That developer seemed confident enough to be building an NFC-capable iOS app, even though that functionality is currently requires 3rd party NFC accessories on the iPhone.

Apple has already made a small stride towards convincing users to use their iOS devices and iTunes account for payments. Apple recently introduced a self-checkout system to their Apple Store app that allows customers to purchase items at Apple retail stores using their iTunes account. NFC would further streamline the process and potentially expand it to many other retailers.

Article Link: More Hints that Apple is Working on an NFC Payment System on the Next iPhone
 

dashiel

macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2003
876
0
I think I’d rather see a system implemented like the one at Apple stores. Scan your merch; enter your iTunes password; walk out the door.
 

tigertazz

macrumors 6502
May 4, 2009
286
329
This may be the push that the UK needs to kick start contactless payments.
If thousands of people get iPhone (X) then businesses will have to respond
 

FrizzleFryBen

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2009
401
6
Charlotte, NC
I really don't see any other option. IMO, it will happen eventually.

I could see it as being useful at any store to disable an alarm tag for in-store self-checkout and still have security in place so higher ticket items don't walk out the door. Just have a simple database of unique alarm tags and flag them free to go thru security as users purchase them. All it would have to do is read the unique ID on the products alarm tag via NFC and communicate to the database.
 

wickerman1893

macrumors 6502
Dec 16, 2008
468
0
This would be awesome and very useful for a college bound student like myself. I can see credit through phones being the primary way of payment within the next 5-10 years.
 

neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,116
6
This may be the push that the UK needs to kick start contactless payments.
If thousands of people get iPhone (X) then businesses will have to respond
Thousands of people already have contactless cards and businesses aren't quickly adopting the terminals. It brings them no benefit financially - they would still see the customers even if they didn't have the contactless terminals.
 

herocero

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2003
119
15
down on the upside
Thousands of people already have contactless cards and businesses aren't quickly adopting the terminals. It brings them no benefit financially - they would still see the customers even if they didn't have the contactless terminals.
I take it you don't travel to Japan? NFC payments are everywhere. It might take time but it will happen in Europe, UK and the US. Soon we'll have the capability to have your whole wallet on your phone, whether everyone likes it or not is up for debate.
 

tryst3

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2012
15
0
Thousands of people already have contactless cards and businesses aren't quickly adopting the terminals. It brings them no benefit financially - they would still see the customers even if they didn't have the contactless terminals.
If it would attract more customers, they will adopt it.
 

LWX

macrumors member
Jun 27, 2010
61
0
London
Needs to be done, but it becomes a bit pointless when retailers let you use contactless and then ask for a signature. Would be great to have it contactless and then enter in a PIN.

I'd probably be more likely to use it if it was linked to Credit (VISA/MasterCard/Amex) too.
 

dashiel

macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2003
876
0
Not sure I want Apple knowing everything I buy, but maybe that's just me.
If it’s not Apple it’s Visa, MasterCard, Amex, et. al., and I wouldn’t be surprised if the credit card companies sold their customer database. Apple seems pretty legit in this respect, it certainly pissed off the publishing industry when Apple wouldn’t share customer data.

No they don't.

This seems like an enormous pain in the ass to actually have to use. Here, let me start up this app to scan my phone.. oh wait hang on, it's not working. :rolleyes:
Depends on the situation, I agree in current store environments it’s not as convenient, but in a store like Apple where you can literally walk in, buy something and walk out without interacting with an employee it works just fine.
 

sazivad

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2011
327
0
New Jersey
Cue die-hard Android dudes saying Android had this first and that Apple is just copying. Whilst they ignore the fact that Apple was probably developing NFC around the same time the Android handset makers had, and also that first does not always mean best, it just means first. Plus, things like this, and like LTE, bigger screens, higher-res screens, faster processors, etc. are just upgrades. Things like a UI and software (like, say, the software implementing an NFC payment system) should be unique.

Anyway, this looks cool. I have a feeling if the iPhone gets this, we'll see the number of compatible credit-card readers really take off.
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,598
New England, USA
Needs to be done, but it becomes a bit pointless when retailers let you use contactless and then ask for a signature. Would be great to have it contactless and then enter in a PIN.

I'd probably be more likely to use it if it was linked to Credit (VISA/MasterCard/Amex) too.
I, too, would prefer if one could store one's credit cards and then select which to use in a particular situation. This would allow one to use their business credit card or their personal card.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,136
4
This may be the push that the UK needs to kick start contactless payments.
If thousands of people get iPhone (X) then businesses will have to respond
I could see this really getting things going provided Apple does not do something stupid like exclusive contracts with the some of the major credit card companies that only Apple can do that card. That lock in would be a real road block in getting it really moving in retail.
Reason why is the group that is most likely to jump on board with this are tech nerds. Tech nerds also have a much higher non iOS use than the general population.
 

aristotle

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
1,768
5
Canada
I take it you don't travel to Japan? NFC payments are everywhere. It might take time but it will happen in Europe, UK and the US. Soon we'll have the capability to have your whole wallet on your phone, whether everyone likes it or not is up for debate.
Have you travelled to Japan? NFC payments in Japan are generally limited to places like vending machines near train stations as well as convenience stores close to stations. It is tied to the Suica/PASMO system for their subway/LTR train network.
 

Premonition

macrumors member
Mar 2, 2009
44
0
I think I’d rather see a system implemented like the one at Apple stores. Scan your merch; enter your iTunes password; walk out the door.
Im sure there might be a way to do that but at this point in time, in my mind I imagine someone stealing comes to mind if i saw that happened lol.
 
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spotlight07

macrumors regular
Mar 28, 2007
111
50
My guess is it will be called iPay (or iPass, if they want a broader name) because of all of the "iP-" products already... iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc.

As with anything Apple, the reason they will be able to make it work (where every other company including Visa, Mastercard, Google, ... failed) will be building an ecosystem around NFC. It won't simply be for payments. You'll eliminate wallets, keys, and passwords.

I can see Apple announcing a partner or two in retail (was it Old Navy or Gap using Apple's retail system already?) which will let you self checkout just like at Apple's own store using NFC in iPhone and RFID on products (called EPC).

Apple will be sure to announce some accessory manufacturers who will produce locks, garage door openers, and home automation (lighting, TVs turn on and off as you move from room to room).

Finally, because Apple controls Mac hardware and software, I expect Apple will announce a way to login using the NFC in iPhone, which will auto log you in to your user account and off whenever you are near your Mac (saw a patent on this from Apple recently) and auto-unlock your password keychain. The effect of this would be to eliminate all passwords, something that would be a huge feature / selling point.

Edit: Also, with Apple's 92 Billion in the bank, why not start your own bank? I know they don't have to (they can always go through Visa/Mastercard) but think of all of the fees they could charge for purchases to businesses (usually Credit Card fees are around 1-3% of the transaction price) as well as lending credit fees for customers (generally 5%-25%).
 
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LordDixon

macrumors newbie
Oct 2, 2010
25
0
I would love to see this. They would even have to print a receipt because it would automatically come to your email.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
This seems like an enormous pain in the ass to actually have to use. Here, let me start up this app to scan my phone.. oh wait hang on, it's not working. :rolleyes:
You're thinking like an iOS one-thing-at-a-time user. I'm sure Apple would make it easier. For instance:

On Android you simply turn on the phone.

When it recognizes the nearby NFC, the Google Wallet app starts automatically.

It's dirt simple. My stepdaughter uses it constantly in Florida to pay for gas, fast food, etc. She loves it, since she doesn't have to dig out a wallet from her purse. She just taps her phone.

Search "google wallet" on YouTube for tons of demos.
 

swarmster

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2004
623
89
At the end of the year, when I can wave my iPhone at my Wii U and purchase Super Mario Brothers, I will know it's the future.

Really not a fan of Qualcomm chips. What happened to TSMC?
I'm not sure what you're asking. Qualcomm frequently (if not always) contracts with TSMC to fab their chips.
 

andy721

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2007
591
0
FL
I've used a Nesus S to do this. Pretty cool but not as fast as you think sometimes you have to swipe it over a couple times. But pretty useful. Don't think I'd like google being my wallet though. Too much privacy abuse by them. They need to either shut down or get rid of their privacy policy soon, or we will shut them down.