“Apple Inc. is planning a new iPhone feature for Japan that will enable users to pay for mass-transit rides with their smartphones instead of physical payment cards,” Mark Gurman and Gareth Allan report for Bloomberg. “A future iPhone will include technology called FeliCa, a mobile tap-to-pay standard in Japan developed by Sony Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. The FeliCa chip will let customers in Japan store their public bus and train passes on their iPhones. Users would then be able to tap their phones against the entrance scanners instead of using physical cards.”
“The Near Field Communication technology powering Apple’s mobile-payments service, Apple Pay, is prevalent in North America, Europe and Australia, but the FeliCa standard dominates Japan with a penetration of 1.9 million payment terminals, according to the Bank of Japan,” Gurman and Allan report. “Apple intends to work with multiple transit card providers, one person said. The major players there include the Suica and Pasmo networks. Theoretically, virtual representations of the transit passes would be stored in the iPhone’s Wallet application, said the person, who asked not be identified because the planning is private.”
“Apple has planned to launch these new features with the next iPhone models, which the company is set to unveil in September, according to people familiar with the matter,” Gurman and Allan report. “In addition to supporting the transit-pass network, the FeliCa chip can also store e-money, an electric form of currency now widely accepted at vending machines, convenience stores and cafes in Japan. Apple is in discussions with at least one major financial institution to support these e-money transactions, according to one of the people.”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Commuters in Japan, rejoice!