In the months leading up to Apple’s Fall iPhone announcement last year, we heard dozens of rumors that never materialized. Obviously the big one was that the handset was going to feature a major hardware redesign, but there were others.

NFC (Near Field Communications) compatibility is another rumor that never panned out. The iPhone 4S launched without any sign of NFC chipsets. But that doesn’t mean that the next iPhone won’t feature the technology…

Yes, the iPhone mobile payment rumor is back thanks to the recent comments from Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s head of mobile payment solutions. During an interview with Fast Company, McLaughlin was asked if Apple was one of his company’s future NFC partners.

“The timeline is always as rapid as it makes sense for consumers.” he says. “That’s a combination of having a critical mass of the merchants, which is what you’re seeing right now, and getting devices into the hands of consumers. I don’t know of a handset manufacturer that isn’t in process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready.”

So that would include Apple then?

“Um, there are…like I say, [I don’t know of] any handset maker out there,” McLaughlin says. “Now, when we have discussions with our partners, and they ask us not to disclose them, we don’t.”

McLaughlin’s stumble seems to have all but confirmed Apple’s work on mobile payment systems for many bloggers and reporters around the web, but we’re still skeptical. Current mobile payment systems, including Google Wallet, have yet to gain any real traction among consumers.

However, if Apple is working on something in the mobile payment field, it certainly has the size and influence to change the landscape. With more than 200 million iTunes accounts linked to bank accounts, Apple already has a lot of the necessary pieces in place for a mobile payment system.

The question is: if you could pay for gas or food with your iPhone linked to your iTunes account, would you?


  • jose castro

    iphone 5

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I would.

    Not always, because I just don’t “roll” that way…. I’m still half/half with Technology and Security.

    However, I do say “Yes” since I use my iPhone to pay for my Starbucks and I love the convenience – especially when I’m done working out at the Gym, and I don’t have my wallet with me. I can run in to the Starbucks, grab my coffee and go – using my Starbucks App on my iPhone.

    I use the free App “Keyring” which stores my Gym’s membership barcode – so, going into the Gym with only my iPhone and the bluetooth headset is a real convenience for me!

    Keyring also allows me to store all those annoying Shopping “Club Cards” etc (I wish Costco would get on board with this)… So now when the store’s clerk asks “are you a member of our savers club?” I just pull it up or already have it ready on my iPhone.

    Why am I telling you all this?

    Well, there have been times I’ve wanted to pop in to CVS to pick up something after working out at the Gym (they are located in the same shopping mall strip center) and I remember I have to first run to my truck to get my wallet!!! What a drag, so usually I skip it.

    But, if CVS accepted my iPhone like Starbucks did, I could use their club card on my Keyring App, and I could maybe use PayPass for my MasterCard/Visa Debit transaction. I wouldn’t do this all the time, but I can see it happen sometimes.

    Speaking of the Gym…. I should get changed and get out of the office! Bye!

  • Dear Apple.

    Would you be so kind and, for once in your lifetime, comply with already existing standards (NFC) and, by doing so, make everyone’s lives easier?

    Sincerely, a user.

  • I think I would use the feature to pay for gas, groceries, etc. I think it would be even better for iTunes to have some kind of reward point system to encourage you to use. It would be similar to what some banks offer now for their check card users. Then after the user uses it more to gaIn points, they can cash it in for reward like iTunes giftcards and other items you can redeem your points.

    • BurtonLazars

      Paying for gas with your mobile phone. Great idea – see you in the burns unit my friend.

  • G

    It would be nice if this site did a little bit more investigation into these rumors. Just some food for thought here but maybe looking into some of Apple’s affiliated NFC companies would reveal some info. I’m looking for work if this sounds like a good idea 😉