At first we hoped the iPhone 5 would have NFC technology, then we were told Apple wasn’t considering NFC yet. Now it appears that the next iPhone will in fact have NFC technology for mobile payments.

Multiple reports from sources like The New York Times and China Times reveal that Apple is working hard to implement NFC into the iPhone. Near Field Communication technology would allow consumers to use the iPhone as a mobile payment option, and the technology would most likely tie into the already-existing iTunes payment infrastructure.

From The New York Times,

“According to two people with knowledge of the inner workings of a coming iteration of the Apple iPhone — although not necessarily the next one — a chip made by Qualcomm for the phone’s processor will also include near-field communication technology, known as N.F.C. This technology enables short-range wireless communications between the phone and an N.F.C reader, and can be used to make mobile payments. It is unclear which version of an iPhone this technology would be built into.

One person familiar with the new Apple feature said the phone’s credit card information would be tied to information currently used on iTunes, which would make it simple for customers to set up the new mobile payment method on the iPhone.”

Instead of using a credit card or cash, the future implementation of NFC will allow users to pay for goods and services through an account tied to their smartphone. NYT explains that other players in the mobile sphere are planning on building NFC into their devices,

“Apple isn’t the only company trying to create a phone that can make payments. Google is also exploring adding N.F.C. payment methods to the Google Android platform, according to a Google employee who asked not to be named because company employees are not allowed to speak publicly about unannounced features and products.”

This New York Times report does not claim that the iPhone 5 will definitively NFC. However, the China Times claims that the iPhone 5 has entered the trial production stage, and that the next iPhone will have NFC.

From a rough Google Translate of the China Times report,

“It is understood, iPhone 5 equipped with “induction pay” (wave and pay) technology, into the “Near Field Communication” (Near-Field Communication) technology, which includes financial account information and can link with a specific device, a new generation “electronic wallet” of the business.”

If the iPhone 5 does end up having NFC, it will be very interesting to see how Apple approaches a technology that is relatively untapped in the mobile market. A tie with the iTunes payment system is a no-brainer. Apple already has a sophisticated backend established with customers for managing money transactions.

There are already NFC-like abilities that certain companies have enabled on the iPhone. For instance, you can use an app to pay for your drink at Starbucks.

While these current app payment methods are different on a case-by-case basis, none of them actually use NFC technology. If implemented, NFC would become the standard for mobile payment. And a more unified experience among apps is definetley a good thing.

It will be interesting to see what Apple ends up doing with NFC. Do you think we’ll see an NFC-enabled iPhone 5 this summer?

  • iKing

    Who uses NFC on their credit/debit card? I don’t use it enough. I really don’t realize until after I’ve already swiped my card, but who knows maybe things can change with the iPhone.

    • Jon Garrett

      apparently NFC is popular in some poorer countries in Africa. I was reading a popular mechanics article about how people in remote places use their phones. its kinda strange though because you would think the people in remote areas don’t get good reception.

      but according to the article some residents of remote towns in African countries were making types of homemade cellular antennas and hanging them in trees through out the village. they didnt have a local bank so they did all their banking with NFC.

    • Jon Garrett

      apparently NFC is popular in some poorer countries in Africa. I was reading a popular mechanics article about how people in remote places use their phones. its kinda strange though because you would think the people in remote areas don’t get good reception.

      but according to the article some residents of remote towns in African countries were making types of homemade cellular antennas and hanging them in trees through out the village. they didnt have a local bank so they did all their buying and selling with NFC.

  • Burge

    Out and about with no cash …need to pay for something phone goes dead = you fucked…
    If apple do this how safe will it be ? Your phone gets nicked get home and you log into iTunes to see some wanker has maxed out your iPhone …

    • Huh

      What about now? Out and about with no cash. Need to pay for something… ur fucked!

  • brent

    @Burge – your first concern is inevitable. Make sure your phone is charged and more importantly, make sure you carry another form of payment.

    In regard to your 2nd concern, while valid, I doubt they would roll this out without security measures in place, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about that.

    • Burge

      Atleast you see my point …lol…are you the same Brent..from afew months back ?

  • Great$

    I believe iTunes accounts wer being hacked not to long ago I’m not so sure I would trust them with my credit card info to make actual payments

  • iProf.

    I would never pay with my iPhone. The iPhone har been hacked over and over again. Nothing is safe on the iPhone, the jailbreaks always succeed and everyone can do it. What makes this so different, and if they add a code or something, what would you gain from using your phone over you card? Mybe Im not elightened in this technology but to me this seems like an unnecessary feature and it could only bring problems. I live in Europe btw, maybe you guys from across the sea gets more from this.

  • DP

    robbery of the future…coming soon to a starbucks near you.

    Robber: This is a hold up, don’t need your wallet, keep sipping your $10 coffee everyone just wave your phone in this device with $500 and I’ll be out in 20sec.

  • Doug

    My iphone is running extremely slow to the point it is almost unresponsive. I’ve been trying some changes in safe mode with no luck and getting back to it is really a pain. Only update I just did in Cydia was libstatusbar or something it’s installed by default so I’m not sure if I should just delete it.

    • Burge

      If you got sbsetting turn everything off in mobilesubsrate and see if speed comes back .. If it does. turn backon each thing one by one and see what happens ..p.s turn off all winterboard themes first.. When you turn something on and it slows you found it .. After each turn on or off the device will respring ..

      • Doug

        Thanks for that reply. But in almost positive I would have never made it that far. My device was practically froze. After a respring I couldn’t even scroll over one page. Pulling down sbsettings and getting into the power menu took a few minutes. Really lucky that after with in a half hour of this starting there was an update to the conflicting add on through cydia

  • Doug

    Got it fixed. It was that update for libstatus. it ended up conflicting with spring clean. Something I never would’ve found on my own but luckily the dev for spring clean was fast with their own update. Really can’t beleive the libstatus people would put out an intentionally conflicting update. Makes me really want to know if I need it on my phone because I don’t use it for anything and clearly the devs for it suck. I’d rather just unistall and avoid future updates but I don’t know what it does or if it is important to have.

    Fuck the people behind libstatus and thanks very much to the spring clean dev who cleaned up their mess!

    • Burge

      Just so you know libstatusbar had a update in the last 24 hours .. So for the devs to find the problem and sort it quickly is good…it’s been download 6.7 millions times …don’t forget that this software is not men’t to be on these devices …and you have a go at them ….ps delete libstatusbar ..if thats the only thing that appears in the remove confirm part of Cydia , then your ok to delete it .

  • Sku

    I’m living in Japan, and almost of phones (not even Smart phone class) here have been using NFC for at least 3-4 years ago. They linked to most of popular payment services in Japan like Metro pass (Suica, Pasmo..) or Convenient stores (Nanaco, Pasmo.. ) or almost Banks in Japan (Mizuho, Mitsubishi UFJ..)

    So, NFC is not a big deal in Japan, people get uses to it long times ago.

  • moimoimoimoi

    NFC is creepy … it’s another step closer to cashless society .. i wont be using it