iPhone 6 will finally make NFC payments a big deal

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The iPhone 6 is going to attempt to replace your wallet, according to a report from Wired, claiming Apple’s mobile payment system will debut as a major feature in the iPhone 6, and NFC is a key piece of the puzzle.

Apple’s mobile payments platform will take on Google Wallet, Square, and others this September by adding NFC and a secure element to store all your credit cards info on the iPhone 6, allowing users to make NFC payments with retailers with out having to fumble around with your cash or credit card.

Rumors of NFC’s inclusion in the iPhone have been a reoccurring theme of every iPhone rumor season since the iPhone 3GS. Apple has opted to use Bluetooth in previous iPhones instead, but the extra security protections of NFC may have made it too good not to use for the mobile payments system.

With over 800 million credit cards on file supplied by its iTunes clientele, Apple already has an enormous number of potential users who can jump into the system as soon as they get their fingers on the iPhone 6 and its beefier display. Taking a small cut on all those mobile payments could be a highly lucrative new business for Apple. Tim Cook has already hinted that Apple’s intrigued with mobile payments, and it was the main inspiration for Touch ID.

What Apple’s mobile payments system will actually look like is still unclear, though it’s likely to use a combination of features it laid the ground work with in 2013: iBeacons to locate devices at retail shops, Touch ID to verify identity, and NFC to transmit transaction data. Passbook could also come to play as well.

Apple is expected to reveal all the details at a media event on September 9th that will introduce the next generation models of the iPhone 6 that are rumored to feature sapphire displays, A8 processors, improved cameras. And we also might see the iWatch.

  • tangorum

    my wallet will run out of battery every 5 hours

    • Windlasher

      Think of all the money you will save by having time to re-think that purchase while your phone recharges.

      • tangorum

        good one

  • Windlasher

    Thus making a kill switch required and a good password also required.

    • ChristopherBreeden

      There is a kill switch on all of your credit cards.

      • Windlasher

        Whats your point? I thought this topic was about a phone.

      • ChristopherBreeden

        I thought your implication was that a kill switch is required because NFC will allow you to make credit card purchases through your phone. I was just pointing out that there is a kill switch for the credit cards as well, which makes the kill switch requirement in response to the NFC addition not really a necessity.

        Edit: Though after reflecting a little bit, I realized that there will also probably be a kill switch on Apple’s mobile payment platform which would be even easier (and convenient financially) than suspending your credit cards.

      • Windlasher

        Thats the one.. lol If someone steals your wallet, that can spend a hell of a lot of money by the time you realize it and cancel 5 different cards.

        If they steal your phone and its locked, they can’t, and you can erase the phone, i.e Kill it. Then you go home get your real cards, go buy another phone and reload. Eazy Peazy!

      • ChristopherBreeden

        I understand your point of view. I just don’t think I agree that I should be forced to have a kill switch on my phone if I don’t want to–though, to be clear, I am all for people having that option to have a kill switch, that could be really handy. It’s just that kill switches can be exploited, and for a good example of how something like this happened (albeit on a laptop and not a cellphone), take a look at this good read: http://www.wired.com/2012/08/apple-amazon-mat-honan-hacking/all/.

        Maybe I want a kill switch on my phone. I’m not sure to be honest, but if someone just instantly put one on my phone right now I would be a little irritated. But that is something I really do need to think about some more.

  • ChristopherBreeden

    I’ve used this feature a few times at some gas stations and vending machines from my nexus 5. It’s actually quite convenient and iPhone users will thoroughly enjoy it.

  • John Davids

    Awesome! Welcome to the wonderful world of tap-to-pay, iOS folks! With Apple joining the party, its a huge win for the ecosystem. It really blew me away when I made my first tap-to-pay payment back in 2010 on my Nexus S.

    • ChristopherBreeden

      As a Nexus 5 user, I am also happy for this, as it increases the number of NFC capable phones dramatically; thus increasing the chance for stores accepting their use. And let’s not kid our selves, who doesn’t feel like a boss after using their phone to make a payment at a store ;)

  • daniel breitner

    Hey, here´s my 5 cents about the iPhone 6 getting NFC:

    It absolutely makes no sense.

    If you´re apple and you want to get big in mobile payments and you know that an NFC chip costs less then a dollar, would you :

    a) build it into the iPhone 5, 5S and 6 to make one big move in the year 2014 where all of a sudden you have over 300 Million potential customers OR

    b) only built it in the iPhone 6 and have around 10 – 20 Million users at the beginning ?

    Of course you would pick a) ! You would build it in and let it be deactivated for 2 years until your negotioations with banks / credit card companies etc are done and then all of a sudden you wipe the floor with paypal ;)

    What I am saying is: If apple wanted to support NFC, they would already have built it into earlier versions of the iPhone. And if they make a move into mobile payments they will do it without NFC. 100% sure.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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