According to a recent Bloomberg report, Apple will build NFC (Near Field Communication) chips into the next generation iPhone and iPad. NFC is a short range wireless technology that enables devices to communicate with each other to perform simple transactions. This technology has been in use in countries like Japan and South Korea – but is yet to take off in the West. Just last month, Japanese mobile carrier Softbank introduced limited NFC functionality using an add-on accessory that sticks to the back of the iPhone for mobile payment.
Bloomberg is quoting Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group who has said that Apple would be embedding NFC chips in iPhone 5 and the iPad 2. Doherty in turn is citing engineers who are involved in this project for Apple. It remains to be seen how Apple implements this functionality in iOS. The current speculation is that this could potentially evolve into a payment system that would be tied to iTunes.
“Apple’s service may be able to tap into user information already on file, including credit-card numbers, iTunes gift-card balance and bank data”, says Richard Crone, financial industry adviser Crone Consulting LLC. Crone also adds that Apple would is looking at tapping in to the large online payments market in the US.
According to Doherty, Apple has already created a prototype of a payment terminal that small businesses could use to scan the NFC-enabled iPhones and iPads for payments.
Are you looking forward to turn your iPhone and iPad in to an easy payment system – whilst on the move?