NFC-iPhone

According to a new report, the incoming iPhone 6 is going to feature support for NFC technology (or near field communications). Citing sources ‘close to the matter,’ New York news outlet Brightwire says Apple is planning to utilize the wireless tech in a future mobile payment system.

In fact, Brightwire claims that Tim Cook and company have already inked a deal with China UnionPay service. And under that deal, users will be able to make mobile payments on over 3 million China UnionPay ‘QuickPass’ POS machines in the country using Passbook on their iPhones…

Here’s more from Brightwire’s Frank Hill:

Apple is likely to incorporate a Near Field Communication(NFC) payment function in the next generation iPhone and has reached an agreement with China UnionPay on a mobile payment service, according to a source close to the matter.

Under the deal with China UnionPay, users would be able to download the bank card organization’s app to Passbook in their iPhones and make mobile payments on over 3 million China UnionPay’s “QuickPass” POS machines in China, the source said.

Hill goes on to say that both companies are also working on another mobile solution together—one that could eventually be used for purchases in Apple’s retail stores. China UnionPay has quite the reach in the country, as its interbank network links ATMs across most of the major Chinese banks.

Apple has in the past avoided using NFC technology in its devices, with SVP Phil Schiller saying back in 2012 that ‘it’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem.’ It does, however, hold a number of patents on near field communication, including one involving retail transactions.

iphone_6_hajek3_5iPhone 6 concept by Martin Hajek

NFC and mobile payments haven’t been talked about very much on the iPhone 6 rumor mill, but it’s nothing new. Apple has, for a long time, been very interested  in the space, with Tim Cook even admitting earlier this year that mobile payments was ‘one of the thoughts’ behind its Touch ID feature.

The iPhone 6 is expected to launch as early as August, and feature new hardware, a larger display and a number of other improvements.