NFC-equipped iWatch will make mobile payments a breeze

iwatch

Apple will unveil not one, but two different iWatch sizes when it takes the stage at the Flint Center next week, and according to the Wall Street Journal, Apple’s wearable will make mobile payments as easy as a tap on the wrist.

The new device is unlikely to launch this year, but the report claims that along with tracking your health and fitness data, the iWatch will feature a battery efficient OLED display, and an NFC chip an secure enclave to store all your credit cards for mobile payments.

NFC wireless is central to Apple’s plans to incorporate so-called tap-to-pay into its mobile devices, allowing users to pay for goods and services using credit cards stored with iTunes, people close to Apple said.

The inclusion of NFC in the iPhone has been rumored for years, but it an unprecedented number of leaks support the rumors that this will be the year Apple finally embraces the technology, and it’s ready to go all-in by tossing it in the iWatch as well.

Apple is expected to unveil its new mobile payments system at the iPhone 6 event on September 9th. Previous reports have indicated Apple is also partnering with retailers like Nordstrom so iPhone and iWatch users can simply tap their device to authorize a payment.

NFC will also be used to simplify the process of pairing an iWatch to an iPhone. The tech will make its first appearance in the iPhone 6, which is expected to launch later this month with a larger display, A8 processor, improved camera, and all-new design.

  • mythofechelon

    NFC? “tap on the wrist” / “tap their device” to pay? Why would you do that? Wouldn’t you just outstretch your arm and put the watch near the payment device like all other NFC devices? Am I being stupid here?

    • Adrayven

      yes., to answer your last question first. :)

      They mean you would initially pair the iWatch to your iPhone (as in pair BT LE) using NFC..

      Once paired you would only need to waive your watch over the payment terminal and never need to take the phone out of the pocket.

      • mythofechelon

        None of what you said makes sense.

        1. I understand the need to pair the iWatch to the iPhone via Bluetooth LE but you said that “you would initially pair the iWatch to your iPhone […] using NFC”. According to Wikipedia, NFC devices are “usually no more than a few centimeters” apart, so it would not be suitable whereas Bluetooth LE would. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_field_communication
        2. “Once paired you would only need to waive your watch over the payment terminal and never need to take the phone out of the pocket.” That’s exactly what I said and exactly the opposite of what this article is saying, hence my quotations.

  • cdavid

    Nfc in iphone rumoured for years??? That’s rewriting history a bit isn’t it. Only last year when the iPhone5s was released cult of Mac along with others was explaining to me how it was a wise decision for apple to not include nfc and that Apple was going to make nfc irrelevant like it did with flash. Funny how things change.

    • jeffreylowy

      1) Flash is pretty much irrelevant, ask any JavaScript developer. 2) We haven’t seen iBeacon demo’d on stage. Maybe you should wait until Tuesday.

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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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