Orange CEO fuels hope that Apple may grant 3rd-party apps & services access to iPhone NFC chip

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2016
The CEO of France-based carrier Orange has revealed that the company's proprietary tap-to-pay wallet Orange Cash will arrive on the iPhone in a few weeks. That's led to speculation that Apple could be preparing to allow third-party apps and services to access the iPhone's NFC chip.



To date, Apple has restricted access of the near field communications chip in newer iPhones solely to its own Apple Pay service. That means other uses for NFC, including automatically pairing with other devices or acting as a secure building access key, remain impossible.

Orange Chief Executive Stephane Richard has been among those hoping Apple will open up access to the NFC chip. His company's own Orange Cash mobile payment service relies on NFC, and has nearly 100,000 users in France.

In recent months, Richard said he has personally reached out to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, asking the company to grant third parties access to the iPhone's NFC chip. Those requests have apparently gone unanswered.

However, in a new interview with 01net.com, Richard revealed that Apple is apparently "ready to integrate" Orange Cash on the iPhone. The CEO didn't go into any details on how it will work.

Richard's comments have fueled speculation at French sites like iPhon.fr that Apple could be planning to open up access to the secure NFC chip found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s series.




Despite limited use of NFC on the iPhone, Apple is a sponsor member of the NFC Forum, which helps to guide its future. NFC is a short-range wireless technology that's essential to secure mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Orange Cash, but is also capable of other types of functions.

For example, the Apple-backed NFC Forum is working to bring contactless terminals to U.S. public transit. And back in 2014, Apple was rumored to have been in talks to allow the iPhone to replace the "Clipper" card used for California's Bay Area Transit System. It was also said that Apple was exploring ways to open up the NFC chip to serve as a secure building access keycard.

NFC chipmaker NXP has also expressed hopes that automakers and smartphone makers will work together to allow connected devices to securely unlock and even start a user's car.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 684member
    Glad to see the mention of public transit in here. When NYC’s MTA gets around to upgrading their payment infrastructure, whatever there new system is will be in place for a long time. It would be a shame to see them go with another proprietary system that we get stuck with until 2050…
    aaron sorensonjbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 5
    5150iii5150iii Posts: 96member
    Card-key access would be awesome.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    Eric_WVGG said:
    Glad to see the mention of public transit in here. When NYC’s MTA gets around to upgrading their payment infrastructure, whatever there new system is will be in place for a long time. It would be a shame to see them go with another proprietary system that we get stuck with until 2050…
    Ya NFC would be a great way to go, it seems to be the future standard for this form of secure communication, and the NYC's MTA could get easily have a system that only needs a few firmware updates from time to time when new phone's with more advanced NFC become available and what not.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    ios_userios_user Posts: 1member
    Corporate monopolies work that way, it is not so important to develop new services for customers but keep them trapped in closed proprietary applications.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    defcon888defcon888 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    main reason I never went to the iPhone. My wife and I are able to exchange pictures and videos by tapping her V10 and my V20 together. My aunt was at a party and she wanted a picture I took....instead of emailing it...I turned her NFC on (Samsung S7 Edge) and we touched phones.....accepted request and exchanged the picture.
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