Rumor: Apple to enter mobile payment space with NFC-enabled 'iPhone 6'

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2014
Near-field communications chips have been rumored to become part of the iPhone lineup for years, but this year's anticipated "iPhone 6" may see Apple finally take the plunge, according to a new report.

Touch ID


Citing unnamed "sources familiar with the matter," Wired reported on Thursday that an NFC chip capable of mobile payments will be "one of the hallmark features" of Apple's next-generation iPhone, which is expected to debut on Sept. 9. Details on how the system might work were not relayed, though it's speculated that Apple would leverage its Touch ID fingerprint sensing technology, along with a massive collection of active iTunes accounts, to make its e-wallet service stand out.

The rumor also comes as AppleInsider discovered a new patent application earlier Thursday that described using an NFC chip to allow inductive, cordless charging on mobile devices, like an iPhone or even a mythical "iWatch." The filing details how a device could make use of an NFC antennae to double as an inductor for charging, negating the need to duplicate any hardware.

Thursday's report isn't the first to suggest that Apple might adopt NFC technology in its next iPhone. Earlier this month, a leaked schematic claimed to be from the "iPhone 6" suggested that an NFC chip could be included inside the device. Similar conclusions were drawn from a leaked part that surfaced in July.

Apple has also filed for patents that describe mobile payment systems utilizing NFC RFID technology. But to date, the company has relied on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for short-range wireless functions, most notably with the company's proprietary combination of the two, dubbed iBeacon.

Rumors of NFC functionality in a future iPhone have persisted for years, and seem to appear leading up to just about every new handset launch. And though there have been a multitude of NFC-capable smartphones on the market for years, has never been an Apple product with NFC functionality.

One rumor that surfaced this summer claimed that Apple was accelerating work on a mobile payments system that could be ready by this fall, launching as part of the "iPhone 6." That report claimed that Apple was in talks with partner companies, including Visa, in an effort to debut its own e-wallet platform.

But Apple's reluctance to embrace NFC thus far has led some to speculate that the company could create a mobile payments system that relies on the established Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combination of iBeacon, which would be capable on existing iPhone models, and presumably as well on the anticipated "iPhone 6." One Apple patent filing even describes in great detail a system using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to offer mobile payments.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,578member
    Since modern urban environments are bathed in radio signals, perhaps the iPhone or iBand may use any of the stray signals as a power source.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,112member

    Thank goodness if this turns out to be legit. NFC and a 5.5" iPhone with the new iOS8 is going to be a amazing smart device. 

  • Reply 3 of 47

    What can NFC do that iBeacon and BlueTooth can't?

  • Reply 4 of 47
    davendaven Posts: 487member
    If Apple does adopt NFC for the iPhone, I would think they also include it in an iWatch and put hooks in iOS 8 to securely communicate with iDevices. That way you have a much larger installed base that could use the new feature if users buy iWatches. You can get the bill at the register, approve on your watch, and be on your way. Now if a touch fingerprint sensor is also included on the iWatch, it would be extremely secure and convenient.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 495member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

     

    What can NFC do that iBeacon and BlueTooth can't?




    That's exactly what I thought. Just a few years ago it was said that NFC is lame and only Samsung/Android can do something stupid like this. Apple will come up with a better solution. I seriously thought there would be something even more sophisticated. Maybe not.

  • Reply 6 of 47
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,112member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

     

    What can NFC do that iBeacon and BlueTooth can't?


    Actually be used in places since it's already a standard and adopted. iBeacon, not so much. Plus, almost all electronics now days have NFC in them for easier pairing. 

  • Reply 7 of 47
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member

    I've long thought (and said here) that I expect a wallet solution on Sept 9.  However, I'm just not convinced that NFC is the answer.  I believe iBeacons is the way forward.

  • Reply 8 of 47
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,112member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

     



    That's exactly what I thought. Just a few years ago it was said that NFC is lame and only Samsung/Android can do something stupid like this. Apple will come up with a better solution. I seriously thought there would be something even more sophisticated. Maybe not.


     

    Umm, no. Other countries are expanding NFC rapidly in this day and age. 

    NTT DoCoMo to Enhance the NFC Experience in Japan with Gemalto

    http://letstalkpayments.com/ntt-docomo-enhance-nfc-experience-japan-gemalto/

     

    Gemalto, which provides popular digital security services, recently announced that NTT DoCoMo has opted for its mobile NFC services. NTT DoCoMo is the No. 1 mobile operator in Japan, with more than 63 million subscribers. Gemalto will be providing NTT DoCoMo with two different kinds of services providing end-to-end solutions.

    NTT DoCoMo will be getting Gemalto’s Allynis Trusted Service Management (TSM) service and its UpTeq NFC UICC embedding for both SIM and contactless applications, which together will help the Japanese operator develop contactless services such as mobile payments, loyalty programs, e-ticketing and access control. Gemalto’s offerings will help NTT DoCoMo attain a higher level of security for NFC deployments and effectively manage sensitive data.

    Gemalto’s UpTeq NFC UICC provides scalable management capacity. It is ideal for enabling NFC phones to access services with faster processing and in a more secure manner.

    “Japan has the world’s largest contactless infrastructure, so end consumers are already familiar with waving their mobile phone to enjoy contactless services,” said Michael Au, president of South Asia and Japan at Gemalto. “The NFC functionality builds on the UpTeq LTE card that NTT DoCoMo has already started to seed the market with, and will enable them to offer their customers an enhanced NFC experience.”

    NTT DoCoMo has already unveiled some prominent initiatives regarding mobile payments. Last year, the operator and MasterCard unveiled  ID/PayPass – branded payments via DoCoMo’s ID mobile credit payment system. Payment with ID/PayPass was made available to DoCoMo subscribers who used smartphones equipped with an NFC contactless chip. The ID/PayPass payment feature uses PayPal technology deployed by MasterCard via contactless IC chips. NTT DoCoMo has also founded a mobile wallet service in Japan, called Osaifu-Keitai. Expect the company to look to use Gemalto’s technology to expand the service.

    Gemalto is also making waves in the area of mobile payments through its mobile NFC services. Earlier this year, China Telecom used Gemalto’s UpTeq Multi Tenant NFC SIM to commercially roll out contactless services. China Telecom also uses Gemalto’s LTE management software embedded in the SIM to provide NFC services to subscribers. Earlier this year, Jetco, an ATM network, opted for Gemalto’s LinqUs TSM software platform to deploy NFC payment services across Hong Kong and Macau.

  • Reply 9 of 47
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    Several people saying this. I'd be really shocked if that actually happened.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,112member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post



    Several people saying this. I'd be really shocked if that actually happened.

    Prepare to be shocked. 

  • Reply 11 of 47
    croprcropr Posts: 883member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

     

    I've long thought (and said here) that I expect a wallet solution on Sept 9.  However, I'm just not convinced that NFC is the answer.  I believe iBeacons is the way forward.




    Well suppose you are a international financial institution like Mastercard, and you woud like to make a person to person payment app on smartphones.  Given the worldwide marketshare of roughly 80% for Android and 20% for iOS, you would have 64% Android-Android payments, 32% Android-iOS payments and only 4% iOS-iOS payments.  Or put in others words you don't want a proprietary iBeacon solution.

    Most probably Apple got such a message form the large financial institutions and decided to go for NFC.

  • Reply 12 of 47
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Not a fan of NFC at the moment: being able to electronically "pick my pocket" at a distance? No thank you. And while I can shield a passport or NFC credit/debit card I can't shield my phone (well I could but then it wouldn't be a phone!).

    Granted in part that's due to it not being all that ubiquitous, maybe once there's more of an installed base it could make sense, but the security issue would have to be addressed and with a smartphone I expect that's possible by only enabling the NFC emitter when it's chosen (?), something not possible with a dumb card.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cropr View Post

     



    Well suppose you are a international financial institution like Mastercard, and you woud like to make a person to person payment app on smartphones.  Given the worldwide marketshare of roughly 80% for Android and 20% for iOS, you would have 64% Android-Android payments, 32% Android-iOS payments and only 4% iOS-iOS payments.  Or put in others words you don't want a proprietary iBeacon solution.

    Most probably Apple got such a message form the large financial institutions and decided to go for NFC.


    Except iBeacon from what I can tell hasn't been enacted as proprietary.

  • Reply 14 of 47
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,112member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfc1138 View Post



    Not a fan of NFC at the moment: being able to electronically "pick my pocket" at a distance? No thank you. And while I can shield a passport or NFC credit/debit card I can't shield my phone (well I could but then it wouldn't be a phone!).



    Granted in part that's due to it not being all that ubiquitous, maybe once there's more of an installed base it could make sense, but the security issue would have to be addressed and with a smartphone I expect that's possible by only enabling the NFC emitter when it's chosen (?), something not possible with a dumb card.

    Two things. If you consider less than an inch "at a distance" you need to rethink your definition. Also, to "pick my pocket" you have to enter either a pin number or in the highly likely case of the iPhone, TouchID. So no one is going to get anything.

  • Reply 15 of 47
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SirLance99 View Post

     

    Two things. If you consider less than an inch "at a distance" you need to rethink your definition. Also, to "pick my pocket" you have to enter either a pin number or in the highly likely case of the iPhone, TouchID. So no one is going to get anything.


    The potential thief simply tweaks the amplifier/transmitter  on his skimmer and that distance rises to a practical thieving distance. Take a look at the controversy over chipped passports.

     

    And I acknowledged the possibility of a lockable NFC ability with a smartphone versus a card in my post.

     

    So as usual, it will come down to implementation.

  • Reply 16 of 47
    NFC will solve everything.
  • Reply 17 of 47
    If we do get a 5.5", iOS 8 with extensibility, AND NFC.. omg.. My thoughts of a note are gone..

    Could care less about the S Pen.. !! ROFL!
  • Reply 18 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cropr View Post

     



    Well suppose you are a international financial institution like Mastercard, and you woud like to make a person to person payment app on smartphones.  Given the worldwide marketshare of roughly 80% for Android and 20% for iOS, you would have 64% Android-Android payments, 32% Android-iOS payments and only 4% iOS-iOS payments.  Or put in others words you don't want a proprietary iBeacon solution.

    Most probably Apple got such a message form the large financial institutions and decided to go for NFC.


     

    iBeacon was released from Apple as an open standard.. which is why Android devices with BLE can CURRENTLY use it as well. 

     

    Apple would have made FaceTime open as well, but a patent troll slammed them and so far they've had no luck in getting it out the door and have to pay the troll just to use it.. I think their latest attempts to redesign FT to get around the patent are now being challenged..

     

    Being 'open' and Apple isn't easy.. Apple isn't one of the most sued, Apple IS the most sued company by patent trolls.. PT's see Apple as a walking bank to fleece.. The Samsung patent dispute is just a side line suit to Apple that has been sensationalized by media because everyone likes a good drama / reality show. Great ratings! 

     

    Would have been cool to see FaceTime on my HTC and to get iMessage's.. agh .. there goes that idea! iPhone 6 here I come! 

  • Reply 19 of 47
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    allenbf wrote: »
    I've long thought (and said here) that I expect a wallet solution on Sept 9.  However, I'm just not convinced that NFC is the answer.  I believe iBeacons is the way forward.

    Aren't beacons just a one way communication? Beacons announce themselves to anyone, and everyone within range. There's a reason why Apple went with the word.
  • Reply 20 of 47
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    jfc1138 wrote: »
    Not a fan of NFC at the moment: being able to electronically "pick my pocket" at a distance? No thank you. And while I can shield a passport or NFC credit/debit card I can't shield my phone (well I could but then it wouldn't be a phone!).

    Granted in part that's due to it not being all that ubiquitous, maybe once there's more of an installed base it could make sense, but the security issue would have to be addressed and with a smartphone I expect that's possible by only enabling the NFC emitter when it's chosen (?), something not possible with a dumb card.

    One would have to get close enough to actually pick your pocket in order to receive anything from NFC, plus it's not constantly transmitting. The user has to initiate a transmission.
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