iPhone 6 — the jolt that mobile payments need

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.

NFC-iPhoneWhile 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