Apple’s ‘iPhone 6’ will include NFC mobile payments, sources say

Apple’s “next iPhone will feature its own payment platform, sources familiar with the matter told WIRED,” Christina Bonnington reports for Wired. “In fact, that platform will be one of the hallmark features of the device when it’s unveiled on September 9. We’re told the solution will involve NFC.”

“Over the years, the company has filed a number of patents relating to an e-wallet platform. One, published this past January, detailed how dual wireless protocols like NFC and Bluetooth could be paired to complete a transaction while sensitive data is stored in a ‘secure element’ in the device’s hardware,” Bonnington reports. “Another patent describes a payment system that’s location and context aware, offering the user various options (like rewards cards or coupons) when relevant.”

Bonnington reports, “Touch ID will also likely play a role in securing the platform, and it could make sense for Passbook, Apple’s hub for tickets and coupons, to get some level of integration with the service too.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
More evidence of NFC support for both iPhone 6 models – August 27, 2014
Schematic suggests NFC chip in ‘iPhone 6,’ amount of RAM remains unknown – August 18, 2014
Apple’s iPhone 6 line will sport new A8 chip, faster Wi-Fi, improved Touch ID, and NFC – August 6, 2014
NFC, wireless charging, improved LTE rumored for Apple’s ‘iPhone 6′ – June 9, 2014
Apple patent reveals new iPhone antenna that adds NFC – May 22, 2014

17 Comments

      1. iBeacon are not *just* for location. They are for information transfer too. The iBeacon system is based upon Bluetooth LE which is already in iPhones. You can do virtually everything that you’d be able to do with NFC with the Bluetooth LE capability already in iPhones — including a secure payment system.

        1. Except for the fact that cities like London are already using an NFC card-based system for passengers travelling on public transport, have done for quite a few years, and other cities are introducing the same sort of system. Apple introducing an NFC facility in the iPhone means that travellers could get an app prior to arrival in a particular city, with money allocated to it, and use it immediately on arrival, instead of having to queue for tickets, or arrange to obtain a card in advance. iBeacon, or any BT facility, wouldn’t be of any use, because none of these travel cards use Bluetooth.

          1. Exactly that is the only reason for including NFC, I think there is a practical decision here for the need for ubiquity and Apple will combine the 2 in a seamless experience where each has its advantages or exists where the other doesn’t rather like the phone can move between telecoms and wifi without the user being aware.

    1. And here’s another from TechRadar, about why NFC in phones is so slow to arrive: http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/why-you-still-can-t-pay-with-your-smartphone-to-travel-the-tube-1247771
      Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong already have it, so Apple would be adding a utility usable by millions of people.
      As it points out, 85% of journeys on the London Underground are made using an Oyster Card; I have one, been using it for some years, and I live 100 miles from London, it would be much easier to just use my phone, instead of using a card.

      1. I think this explains it all, Apple were not interested in including NFC as such but only as part or the bigger picture they are introducing where iBeacon is an integral part. If they had introduced it as a stand alone service it would have made introducing iBeacon more difficult while combining it in one ‘branded’ service where they each work as a part would have been difficult to sell. Apple only delays the use of a technology either because it doesn’t rate it (partly true with NFC I suspect) or because it wants to use it in a different way and other aspects of that service are not yet ready. It will incorporate NFC for necessity but not in a way where it will be pushing that technology in its own right I think. Its use to the widespread use of the overall service ‘brand’ is its only importance.

        1. I’m just assuming that Apple didn’t use NFC on earlier iPhones because earlier NFC chips were too big and consumed too much power.
          We just had to wait for them to become practical by Apple’s standards.

        2. I think it is more than this. As the article mentions, the new twist Apple may be incorporating is the pairing of NFC with Bluetooth LE to provide a greater level of security than NFC alone, which is used by Android and others. The knock against NFC has been the weak security. I think Apple had to accept the reality of NFC’s penetration in the electronic payments world, and come up with a way to make it bullet proof security-wise (if there is such a thing).

      2. I’ve been wondering why Apple might suddenly jump to NFC after so many years, but you may have hit the real reason on the head here … China is almost dependent on NFC at this point. Lack of an NFC radio in iPhones may hurt sales in a HUGE market.

  1. Sources say that it will snow in Mexico City and look for a balmy 90 degree day in the Arctic. Sources as idiots with keyboards sitting in dark rooms writing fiction in between their prone watching! Sources… too funny!

    1. I think this rumor has legs. There are too many big NFC payment technologies already deployed around the world for Apple to ignore. The difference being Apple’s twist of marrying NFC with BT and TouchID to make it both more secure and convenient.

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