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Apple signs up credit-card companies for NFC payments

iPhone 6 concept by ConceptsiPhone

By Jane McCallion

Posted on 1 Sep 2014 at 08:21

Apple has reportedly struck a deal with American Express, MasterCard and Visa to bring NFC mobile payments to the iPhone 6.

The agreements between Apple and the credit-card companies will be officially announced next week alongside the iPhone 6, iPhone 6L, next iPad and, possibly, the iWatch, according to Bloomberg.

According to Bloomberg's source, the inclusion of the NFC chip in the next iPhone and improvements in its Touch ID fingerprint scanner "will allow consumers to securely pay for items in a store with the touch of a finger".

Re/code separately reported the deal with American Express, while The Information claimed a deal had been signed with Visa back in July.

Fourth time lucky?

Of course, this isn't the first time NFC payment rumours have attached themselves to an iPhone launch. Speculation that Apple will adopt the technology has been rife since the 4S, but as yet nothing has materialised.

In 2011, the company introduced its own rival iBeacon technology and, when the iPhone 5 was launched, Phil Schiller, SVP at Apple, categorically ruled out NFC, telling AllThingsD the company's own Passbook system "does the kinds of things customers need today".

However, in the three years since its launch, iBeacon support by third parties has been slow to take off, which may have prompted Apple to adopt NFC alongside its own technology.

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User comments

I thought

the banks already had a standard for NFC payments - the last couple of cards I've had are NFC enabled and several banks over here already allow payments with NFC enabled smartphones.

By big_D on 1 Sep 2014

@big_D

Well, yes, but this IS Apple after all. What else would you expect?

By BornOnTheCusp on 1 Sep 2014

Apple are just getting ready ...

... to start actions against all the banks for infringing their patents on NFC payments.

By qpw3141 on 2 Sep 2014

iBeacon

iBeacon may be better - I don't know - but if nobody is adopting it there's not much point pursuing it.

I'm actually happy that this has happened. A few years back I felt that there was increasing convergence on standards, but Apple's aggressive pursuit of 'my way or the highway' policies has led to increasing fragmentation. Let's hope this marks a turning point in Apple's influence. Lightning may also be brilliant - again, I wouldn't know - but if everybody else is pursuing micro USB then it's very inconvenient. Mr. Honeyball may be prepared to spend more on a lightning cable than I would on a phone or computer, but I don't think most of us would. And don't get me started on Flash ...

By jgwilliams on 2 Sep 2014

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