iPhone 6 to Feature NFC Payments, Says Report (Sept. 2, 2014)
Apple Inc.’s next iPhone reportedly will include mobile wallet functionality—as has been rumored for some time. Due to be unveiled next week, the iPhone 6 will feature an NFC chip, which will work with the phone’s Touch ID fingerprint reader to enable users to make in-store payments, according to Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the situation. The source also said Apple has struck agreements with three major payments networks, along with banks and retailers, to support iPhone payments. In July, Apple was reported to be in talks with Visa Inc. to launch a digital wallet app, while re/code reported this past weekend that American Express had signed a payments deal with Apple. MasterCard and Amex declined to comment on the reports. Visa did not immediately return requests for comment.
Industry observers have been watching closely for signs that the latest iPhone will include payments. Last month saw the release of a patent filing from Apple that seemed to indicate a QR code function in several illustrations. Another company patent, published in May, described specs for an NFC antenna design. Earlier that month, Apple reached a deal with China’s UnionPay to enable iPhone users to download UnionPay’s NFC payment app and make contactless payments at more than 3 million locations throughout China.
Apple’s entry into payments would significantly change the industry landscape, given the company’s name recognition and dedicated user base; Apple has more than 800 enrolled iTunes users and a 40 percent share of the global smartphone market.
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