NFC stands for Not For Commerce: Apple snubs emerging mobile payment standard

“EBay Inc Chief Executive John Donahoe often quotes a merchant saying NFC stands for ‘Not For Commerce’ – and dismisses the prospects of Near Field Communication technology used to turn cellphones into mobile wallets,” Alistair Barr and David Henry report for Reuters. “He got some support this week from Apple Inc, which did not embed NFC chips into the iPhone 5.”

“‘Anyone hoping NFC would be a reality soon is disappointed,’ said Sanjay Sakhrani, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. ‘Many in the industry were hoping inclusion in the iPhone would be a springboard for more adoption. This takes the impetus away,'” Barr and Henry report. “Like many new technologies, NFC is hampered by a chicken-and-egg problem. Mobile phone makers like Apple are reluctant to take on the extra cost and engineering effort of embedding NFC chips because many merchants can’t accept payments this way yet. Meanwhile, merchants won’t install NFC until more consumers have the technology on their phones.”

Barr and Henry report, “Apple did not include NFC because it is not clear the technology solves any current problem, marketing chief Phil Schiller told AllThingsD on Wednesday. Instead of embracing NFC, Apple is developing Passbook, a mobile app that pulls together loyalty cards, tickets and coupons on the new iPhone. Many analysts consider this an early version of a digital wallet, except Passbook does not let users link their credit and debit cards yet.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple does not do things simply for the sake of doing them or to gain a checkmark on some spec shootout sheet. Apple will deploy proven technologies when and if they are useful and ready to be used by the majority of users.

Related articles:
Apple’s Passbook strategy eschews NFC hardware to power iOS 6 retail apps – September 4, 2012
Apple steps closer toward integrated mobile payment market – August 29, 2012
How NFC could fit into Apple’s iPhone 5 – August 29, 2012
Apple wins NFC-enabled barcode-reading ‘on-the-go shopping list’ patent – August 7, 2012
Apple’s $356 million AuthenTec buy a possible prelude to mobile e-payments – July 27, 2012
Apple patent application details iOS devices that control everything in your home via NFC – July 27, 2012
Apple to buy AuthenTec for $356 million – July 27, 2012
Researcher takes complete control of Android and Nokia phones by merely waving another device near them – July 26, 2012
Mobile e-payments via NFC not ready for prime time until Apple says it is – July 18, 2012
How local businesses and Apple’s Passbook could deliver an unbeatable iWallet – July 13, 2012
The death of cash; paying by iPhone about to become a way of life – July 9, 2012
Don’t overlook Apple’s new Passbook or you might miss the future of payments – June 12, 2012
Apple granted U.S. patent for all-new iWallet credit system architecture – June 5, 2012
Inside Apple’s secret plan to kill the cash register – May 19, 2012
Apple’s iWallet: The one that will rule the world – March 21, 2012
Apple’s new iWallet patent hints at new killer app – March 9, 2012
Apple wins major U.S. ‘iWallet’ patent; the one that may one day ‘rule the world’ – March 6, 2012
Apple invents ingenious security system for the iWallet era – January 9, 2012
Apple patent app describes future iOS devices communicating with parking meters, doors, cash registers and much more – September 22, 2011
Is Apple building ‘The Device?’ – December 10, 2002


  1. In Japan NFC is used quite a bit. At convenience stores, vending machines, train stations and more. Cards with chips embedded or cell phones featuring the technology have been around for quite a while.

    1. You are right, but over here these people are way behind.
      These apple fans think they know everything, but they don’t know that European and some Asian countries have much superior technologies.

      1. Actually, Goopta, in your posts it always sound like *you* believe that you know everything. You are not even qualified to be the whipping boy on this forum. That position requires at least a modicum of intelligence.

      2. Fake ‘Gupta’: Who do you think you’re talking to? That anonymous coward moniker of your’s has already been branded as TROLL. I told you yesterday to get a new one if you’re serious about trolling here. You can’t even troll right!

          1. The typical loser, when bested in an argument, resorts to ad hominem attacks— much like you have just done. This clearly demonstrates a lack of intellect and makes you look foolish. Frankly, my cat could construct more cogent commentary than you ever could hope to do in several lifetimes.

            Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!


            1. What about you “brainless iphone fanboy”?????
              iphone is NO more unique, it has less features than other brand name phones. 🙂
              Beside all this, now every other cheap guy has an iphone. LOL 😉

            2. Well guess that makes me not cheap since I don’t have an iPhone and no desire to own one, you fish-faced enemy of the people.

              Really, debating with an intellectual pygmy such as yourself is very poor sport— you paint a target bigger than Michael Dell’s face (although perhaps not as big as his arse).


    2. Good points. If the world followed US companies all the time, high speed trains would go 60 MPH! Look at aviation, automobiles etc… not too much leadership from the US. Apple does not have that much influence outside the US and possibly Canada. NFC is and will be part an active component of digital commerce whether Apple supports it or not. Right now the iPhone 5 is barely catching up to Droids.

      1. the iPhone won the JD Powers poll of thousands of phone users (android, WP, Symbian etc) 8 times in a row.

        “Right now the iPhone 5 is barely catching up to Droids.” that’s your baseless opinion. Facts from numerous polls are customers are way happier with iPhone than sucky droids.

      2. Yeah ‘Gupta’. You’ve ruined the reputation of this OTHER anonymous coward fake moniker as well. “Pat” ALSO equal TROLL around here. You are persistently worthless as a troll. I can’t believe Samsung paid for this garbage. They really are blithering idiots over there aren’t they, with you as a classic representation. Do try harder. Or better yet, get a life where you can be positive, instead of a parasite.

    1. @ Gupta

      Go back to your own country – India.

      You can not afford to live in US, therefore you hate US so much.

      You are too retarded and lack of mental capacity to handle the most user friendly smartphone on the planet – iPhone, therefore you hate Apple so much.

      Your nearly non-fuctional dick can not even satisfy your ugly arranged-marriage wife, and she is fu_king a Paki whom he use an iPhone, therefore you hate Apple so much.

      Your lack of better English communication skills cause you to stuck being a software engineer. In reality, you are probably part of the lowest rank cleaning crew in the Valley cleaning Apple buildings.

      1. Keep one thing in your little head that I don’t hate the USA!!!

        I just don’t like apple fans’ thinking that apple has everything, and other companies’ products are worthless. You guys are wrong, you are brainless, and Indians are fucking you so hard that you even can’t say NO, stop it hurts. hahahaha 🙂
        Please send more jobs to China and India. 😉

        1. @ Gupta

          In case you haven’t heard, a lot of tech companies are moving their bases back to US soil due to overwhelming India support issues and Indian programmer’s code usability.

  2. I still don’t understand why NFC is the way to go for mobile payments. The phone knows who it belongs to and where it is at the moment. It can talk to a server and request to make a payment. why do we need specialized chips talking to each other? Can’t the mobile payment issue be solved with software?

    1. NFC is fad crap technology that will eventually be superceded with something seriously secure. It offers nothing but trouble and insecurity. I don’t think anyone is seriously interested in inviting that into their lives. The fact that Japan using NFC is merely an inspiration for pity, on a slightly lower level than pity for their bad idea of installing General Electric designed nuclear power plants. Oops Japan.

        1. Study their design. The things were designed ON-THE-CHEAP, resulting in crap tech that was:
          (A) Incapable of adequately cooling the system after a crisis, and
          (B) Contributory to the outrageously unnecessary hydrogen explosions that further damaged the plants.

          General Electric continue to be one of the most dangerous, reckless and irresponsible companies my country has ever spawned. Would that they had never existed and superior companies had filled their niche. And shame on anyone who defends these dicks of the technology community. They and Eastman Kodak have been incredibly destructive polluters of my state of New York. Frack GE. Yeah, I hate them that much. Superior businesses are required in a responsible business culture. They don’t qualify.

  3. Regardless of all of the borderline racist responses to “Gupta”, he has a point: the US is very slow at tech adaptation. For example, the US carriers got SMS services over three years AFTER it was ubiquitous in Europe and Japan. Same thing goes for UMTS (3G), WiFi. voice control and a host of other cell phone features.

    That being said, NFC is indeed a fad technology, at least here in Germany. There was a push some years ago to implement NFC in vending machines and in train stations, but nobody uses it. I think apple made the right decision not to implement NFC in the iPhone 5.

    1. That’s because our politicians are corrupt. We just hide it better, oh and we can’t be bothered to spend our money on new tech. We have to take care of the illegals, repubnants and demo fat cats. Infrastructure be damned, I want my MTV!

    2. Geeone I somewhat agree with you but only somewhat. Some tech adoption is slow but others not. for example America is one of the top 3 countries for adoption of LTE. but yet America still has 2G networks. Most other European and Asian countries are small and therefore easier to gain more wide spread adoption more quickly.
      Sometimes i do feel there are technophobes in the US who slow adaption of things. In the US we have debates about technology and features that other countries don’t appear to have.

      Gupta said other countries have far superior technologies. which is different from what you are saying. I challenge Gupta to back up his claim with evidence and examples of far superior technologies.
      I would like to point out to Gupta that both Major computer operating systems come from the US. Both major smart phone operating systems come from the US.

      1. @ ban6dit

        Example #1: Bullet trains in Germany, France, ……….. Japan. Do you guys have this kind of railway system?????

        Example # 2: Luxury cars: do you guys make Mercedes Benz, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Lamborghini like cars?????

    3. There are still some technological aspects where the US is leading the rest of the world by leaps and bounds, particularly in the area of fearology. You just have to look at the latest troll releases like Pat (Particulate Attack Troll) and Gupta (Guided Universal Patent Trademark A$$hole) compared to some of the earlier troll versions like the Microsoftian Zune Thang.

      Zune Thang had endearing qualities and many thought he was funny and lovable. I don’t see that so far with these newest troll releases, it’s all about hate and fear, and their incredible redundancy factor delicately enhances the principles of Chinese water torture.

      Many countries may have left barbaric torture rituals behind to embrace the concept of being civilized. Not many in this day and age can boast leaving the concept of being civilized to embrace barbaric torture. Thanks to the latest troll releases and water boarding upgrades the US is one of the elite few that can boast being a world leader in fear and hate technology.

  4. NFC is NOT an emerging technology. It has emerged in a couple of places (Japan in particular), but has not moved anywhere else because it requires retailers to purchase more equipment they do not want to buy in the hopes of consumers buying equipment to make purchases with.

    Apple will use it’s Passbook system, which will work much like the Starbucks card app and generate a bar code for you to scan at retailers which already have scanners. NFC won’t see the light of day in the U.S. because Apple will pass it by.

  5. NFC is stupid anyway. My bank tried doing something with that once and I ended up getting my identity stolen twice in four months, and had to completely replace my NFC each time. All it takes is for someone to scan while walking through a crowd, and then poof all your money is gone. It would be stupid for this to be put into a phone, because as soon as you walk out of your house and your chip is scanned by an identity thief, you’ll have to buy a completely different phone to replace the NFC chip. You might as well also start making cars that only start one time.

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