Apple has plans to add mobile wallet technology to the iPhone 6 following a deal with Visa, MasterCard and Amex that will allow users to make contactless, card-less payments.
The tech giant has been characteristically secretive and Bloomberg did not name its sources, but this is not the first report that the new iPhone will offer such functionality.
Reports claim that the smartphone will use a near-field communications chip similar to those found in current contactless bank cards offered by Visa and other providers. They will confirm these payments with biometric fingerprint scans, according to Bloomberg.
Many Android phones use NFC technology, and outlets like Starbucks accept such touch-and-go payments. However, neither the number of people with such Android phones nor the number of retailers that accept NFC payments has been sufficient to really get the method off the ground.
If the rumors hold true, the sheer number of consumers walking around with contactless payment technology will force retailers to offer such a payment option. Overseas, even loan companies are getting in on the technology, as shown on this Finnish loan comparison website.
It won’t just be the number of people with NFC payment technology that pushes the market for it forward. As some have already pointed out, Apple’s gargantuan iTunes customer base provides it with the financial details of 800 million people.
That’s nearly a billion potential new users of mobile payment technology on the market over the course of the few weeks it’ll take for the iPhone 6 to hit the market.
Recode reported Sept. 9th as the date of Apple’s unveiling of at least one new iPhone, but the blogosphere seems to expect to see two. The new models are expected to have faster processors, bigger screens, and possibly new materials and designs.
While it’s impossible to say just what the new iPhone will bring to the table, it will probably offer a variety of innovative product differentiation features, in typical Apple fashion.
Some analysts and well-sourced reporters have speculated on just what those features might be. Consensus is that it will feature a new version of the operating system, iOS 8, and possibly a new camera.
Hopefully, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, will at least give us some clues as to who’s right, later this month.