Wired: iPhone will have NFC chip and feature its own payment platform

By , Aug 28, 2014

iPhone 6 (retail box, Martin Hajek 004)

According to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to Wired, the rumors were in fact true as the next iPhone is reportedly going to have a Near-Field Communication (NFC) circuitry and feature an Apple-branded payment platform.

Apple’s contactless mobile payment solution is being described in the report as “one of the hallmark features” of the iPhone 6 when the device is unveiled on September 9 (alongside a rumored Apple wearable device).

“We’re told the solution will involve NFC,” reads the report.

For what it’s worth, the reliable John Paczkowski of Re/code has “been hearing the same” about the NFC-enabled iPhone 6.

Recent leaks of purported iPhone 6 components have indicated that the forthcoming smartphone could indeed be outfitted with an NFC chip by a semiconductor company called NXP, which currently supplies the M7 motion coprocessor for the latest iOS devices.

Earlier this month and back in June, VentureBeat learned from a source that the next iPhone has a socket reserved for an NFC chip that will “make the new phones able to do mobile payments” (Morgan Stanley approves this message).

According to the publication, the NXP chip’s element and radio reserve enough memory to “encrypt, decrypt, and sign data packets coming from financial applications” on the iPhone 6.

According to the Wired article, an Apple-branded mobile wallet will tap the more than 800 million iTunes accounts with credit cards on file.

Conventional wisdom has it that any such solution would rely heavily on Touch ID for approving payments and maybe involve Passbook, an iOS application/service which stores users’ tickets, loyalty cards, coupons and other digital items.

It’s worth mentioning that Apple owns several patents pertaining to a mobile payment solution, including this massive iWallet invention.

Combing through Apple’s patent filings, the solutions proposed by the firm involve using short-range NFC and Bluetooth networking to establish a secure connection between the payment terminal and an iOS device to complete transactions.

Apple iWallet patent (Transactions icon, teaser)
A ‘Transactions’ app depicted in an Apple patent filing.

Any sensitive data such as the transaction itself or a user’s credit card information would be of course encrypted and stored inside a “secure element” in the device’s hardware.

The Information previously corroborated [subscription required] that Apple’s solution would store sensitive financial information in a “so-called secure element, adding that Apple discussed its payment service with a number of payment companies.

Last but not least, Apple has been hiring engineers left and right with expertise in “building a business around the hundreds of millions of credit cards it already has on file.”

Currently, the Secure Enclave segment on the A7 chip is isolated from the rest of the system and is used to store a user’s algorithmic representation of fingerprint data rather than actual fingerprint scans.

Several industry players have jumped on the NFC bandwagon.

In addition to Google and its own Google Wallet service available from select carrier partners and on compatible NFC-enabled Android devices, U.S. carriers AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon back in 2010 formed a joint mobile payment venture, called Isis.

On the downside, these contactless payment systems have yet to see rapid-fire adoption worldwide and some watchers have suggested that Apple is in the best position to mainstream paying with our mobile phones.

Would you use an iPhone 6 as your wallet?

iPhone 6 rendering credited to 3D artist Martin Hajek.

[Wired]

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  • HamptonWalley

    If the device is unveiled on September 9 also mean we can purchase same day or still weeks from there?

    • Virus

      Normally like 10 days after

  • hkgsulphate

    iPay

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      oAP – Outside App Purchase

  • igorsky

    Breaking News: Samsung announces mobile payment platform for next phone.

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      That’ll be redundant ’cause their devices have had NFC since the Galaxy S2 and it works wherever PayPass Master Cards/payWave Visa Cards work…

  • Justice and Malice

    Am I theonly one who doesn’t care about NFC?

    • Oliver Lopez Felix

      i’m with you, android haven’t done anything really super awesome with the NFC but lets see what Apple does, the cool part is that normaly when Apple does something it becames standard in all the other phones so it becomes easier or more appealing for the companies to invest in that stuff like modules or whatever they use for you to pay with your phone at McDonalds or something like that

      • @dongiuj

        A majority of android os phones in Japan have NFC. Have done almost for the past 5-6 years.

      • Oliver Lopez Felix

        so… your point is? so in United States and Mexico and everywhere, cameras have NFC and stuff and it’s cool but i guess there are better technologies out there bluetooth? maybe?

      • @dongiuj

        NFC payment system has been used in Japan on android phones for the past 5-6 years and on earlier non smartphone mobile phones since 7-8 years ago. This NFC payment thing is old tech, this is my point.

    • Macdemon

      I don’t care much for NFC either. Too unsecured for my liking.

  • http://facebook.com/lodigabriel Gabriel Lodi

    NFC as a feature for payment is awesome. However, it will be probably only available via Apple ID.
    It would be awesome to use PayPal with this.

    • Oliver Lopez Felix

      remember that iOS will be more open in that sense so i would expect to see something like that really soon if this is true;)

  • mahe

    wired or weird? ;)

  • Jamessmooth

    Also on the downside, they named their joint mobile payment venture “Isis”.
    What’s wired’s track record like?

  • Brian 

    Well… Looks like I won’t be buying the Coin anymore.

    • James Allen

      After all the drama that’s going on with Coin. I got my refund from that. Good News with the NFC

      • Brian 

        Good choice. They are having to many delays either way.

  • @dongiuj

    To say yet again, Japan has been using its phones as mobile payments by simply touching the back of the phones to the payment device in the shop, ticket machines at the station and vending machines in the streets for the past 7 years. You’re simply billed on your monthly phone bill. Don’t see what the big fuss is?

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      It can’t be part of Apple unless made proprietary and renamed…

      • @dongiuj

        No. On all other phones.

  • Juan Genao

    Before the 5s, Apple would let you order the phone before the release date but you would have to wait until the release date to get it, with the 5s you could only start the order the day of release, which ment you would get the phone 3-5 days after the release.

    Any ideas what route apple will take this time??

  • DevXav

    No.
    I’m out of this “digital coin” crap..
    If having it physically is already a problem, guess what about having it “digitally”?

    Something like..
    Person who doesn’t give a shit: – “Pay me 10 coins”.
    Me: – “Okey, here are my 10 digital coins”.
    Person who doesn’t give a shit: – “LOL” + “Punches me in the face” + “GTFO”.
    Me: – “Okey :(”

    Maybe i would use it for some REALLY low valued machine -> machine money transactions..

    But for high numbers, NEVER.. Only physical money.

    • Oliver Lopez Felix

      i dont have any kind of bank cards but i see my brother and bro-in-law use digital all their money, they transfer money between them and they pay a lot of stuff online and never had a problem, and if someone wants to mugger them (or whatever that’s called) they will take no money from them cause they rarely have physical cash.

      anyways theres a lot of people and a lot of customs and thats why there are a lot of options, screen sizes, digital of analog, etc. so use what is best for you:)

  • raulortiz318

    The idea of paying with your phone is great in theory, but at least in the US, there will be so many businesses that can’t afford to upgrade to compatible tech that it negates its use. I will still have to carry my wallet, cash, and credit cards for those places, so paying with the phone in select stores seems a bit superfluous.

    I do think the concept is great, and truth be told it has to start somewhere, so a big company like Apple could get the ball rolling. I would love an all encompassing system, where I never have to worry about remembering to bring coupons to the store. I know there are some apps that provide coupon services, but a more integrated system with the OS would be sweet.

    I wonder though, what benefit to smaller businesses does this provide? Think of all the bodegas in New York. Why should they bother supporting this? I think Apple needs to incentivize their solution’s use to really succeed.