Mobile payments, or the notion that you can pay for goods and services at the checkout with your smartphone, may finally break into the mainstream if Apple and the iPhone 6 get involved.
While Apple doesn’t talk about future products, Wired was the latest to report that the next iPhone would include mobile-payment capabilities powered by a short-distance wireless technology called near-field communication, or NFC. Apple is hosting an event on Sept. 9 that’s widely expected to be the debut of the next iPhone or iPhones.
Apple’s embrace of mobile payments would represent a watershed moment for how people pay at drugstores, supermarkets, or for cabs. The technology and capability to pay with a tap of your mobile device has been around for years — you can tap an NFC-enabled Samsung Galaxy S5 or NFC-enabled credit card at point-of-sale terminals found at many Walgreen drugstores — but awareness and usage remain low. Apple’s visibility and massive user base – it already holds credit card data for about 800 million iTunes account holders — could change that.
“Apple has again the opportunity to transform, disrupt and reshape an entire business sector,” said Roger Entner, a consultant at Recon Analytics. “It is hard to overestimate what impact Apple could have if it really wants to play in the payments market.” >more