How to Get NFC Payments on Your iPhone 4 Right Now


Apple Pay's ease of use may lead to increased impulse buying -- and that's exactly what Apple's hoping for.
Apple Pay's ease of use may lead to increased impulse buying -- and that's exactly what Apple's hoping for.

It’s been rumored that Apple will eventually introduce Near Fields Communications technology in an upcoming iPhone model, but speculation that such a technology will be implemented this year has been all but debunked.

If you’re itching for the ability to have NFC-like “wave and pay” capabilities on your iPhone 4, then it’s your lucky day. A simple hack has been discovered that turns your iPhone 4 into a NFC-capable device.

Smartphones like the Nexus S have NFC built-in, which enables the user to perform electronic cash transfers in the real world. More banks are beginning to support this new technology, and many banks will give customers a card for their account with implemented NFC technology. With NFC, you can quickly swipe and pay without the need to enter your PIN or signature. NFC payments are typically made for purchases under $20 to avoid the need for authentication.

Unplggd has figured out an easy way to let the iPhone 4 make NFC payments. All you need is a NFC-enabled card from your bank or credit company. These are typically called “Smart Cards” or “Tap and Pay” cards, and they have become pretty common.

The trick involves opening the back of the iPhone 4 and positioning the card between the battery and back casing. The card should be thin enough to let you close the iPhone 4 again without bulging or damaging its internals. To learn how to take the iPhone 4’s back off, we recommend following iFixit’s thorough tutorial.

We’re a little hesitant to open the iPhone and place anything right on the device’s battery, but nevertheless this is still a very cool hack.

Let us know if you try to equip your iPhone 4 with NFC tech. Did it work for you?

  • Josh Sunshine

    What about if you want to use that card somewhere that doesn’t take NFC payments?

  • BrianVoll

    Heh, might do this. I currently use Case-Mate’s ID case have my ID and Debit in there. Why not be even more minimalistic? 

  • Chris Kilner

    Or slip the NFC-enabled card inside the back of your protective iPhone case, eliminating the need to disassemble your iPhone…

  • pennstate

    I found this new apple blog and its great!

  • Cowicide

    That waving motion… waving goodbye to your warranty?

  • linzheng1
  • Drew Mitchell

    This post is stupid. This isn’t a hack. You put a card inside the battery casing, woo fuckin who.

  • linzheng1
  • GooneyGooGoo

    I wouldn’t use NFC on an iPhone, they’re too easily hacked.

  • andylong


  • Chase Hausman

    Oh, I’m sorry, Excuse me while I take my phone apart, I forgot my wallet…

  • dongche70
  • penguinstorm

    Uh…this is officially both incredibly stupid and never should have been published.

    It’s a bit like saying I could have “Alex Heath capabilities” by skimming the RSS feed for his site and posting things on mine. Given that Alex writes articles like this, I suppose it would be akin to saying I’m incompetent for doing that…

  • heeloliver

    go away! thanks!

  • Timothy Churchward

    Here’s an other great hack: Put it in your NFC card in your wallet.

  • Craphound

    taking the back off doesn’t affect warranty

  • soychicka

    Is it just me, or is this the stupidest ‘hack’ ever?

  • mai duc chung

    The usual idea is that you would use NFC to set up the link between the two devices and then do an automatic hand over to a different protocol for doing the actual transfer of data – eg Bluetooth,iphone 5

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  • Bendgoat

    The reality is that 99% of the time, NFC will be used just like this hack. I’m probably not the norm but I leave my wallet at home or in my car too much and when i want a snack, I have no cash. At least 4 times a week I wish I could just pay with my phone. If I could ever find out where I left my ADHD medicine, I wouldn’t have the forgetfulness issue.