Thee's been smartphone apps available for a few years now that offer some of the same features. Yes, it might become something new for Apple themselves but the concept isn't new as the article mentions.
Unsurprisingly Chinese Apple users, in concert with the recent roll-out of the new iPhone models there, are reportedly being targeted by the Chinese government in a classic man-in-the-middle ploy to access sign-in credentials.
...or if you have an iBeacon app on your phone using the same background provider as the one the retailer you're visiting uses. Or if you click on an in-store ad as explained in this article.http://www.acquisio.com/blog/mobile/apple-pay-answer-store-attributionAlso note that while Apple is certainly committed to user privacy (kudos for that!) they've at the same time added some new and unannounced user tracking capabilities to iOS8. They've apparently recognized iAd...
You know someone will miss the sarcasm tag.With regard to Thunderbolt tho I'm fairly surprised that adoption outside of Apple themselves has been so slow. What's it been three years or so? Do you think licensing costs are still getting in the way? Can't imagine they're all that high.