Next-Gen iPhone to Use NFC for Mobile Payments

Technology website Wired reported Thursday that Apple’s next iPhone, which will be announced at a media event on September 9 and go on sale shortly thereafter, will include near field communication (NFC) technology for mobile payments.

Wired cited “sources familiar with the matter,” saying that the iPhone’s NFC mobile payment solution will be “one of the hallmark features of the device” at its unveiling.

Bloomberg reported Monday that Apple’s plan includes partnerships with VISA, MasterCard, and American Express.

“If the buzz is true it means the future we’ve all been talking about is here,” said Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union’s Chief Strategy Officer Jill Vicente. She warns that, depending on how Apple’s system might work, credit unions could lose income and customer-spending data.

“I don’t think the floor will fall out from under the industry in the next year,” said Vicente, “but it should light a fire under management teams to rethink their business model and the role of checking/interchange within it.”

Apple is well-positioned to deploy a mobile payments system, with market-leading smartphones and millions of credit cards on file through its iTunes online store. Last year it also announced Touch I.D., an iPhone security feature that uses an embedded fingerprint scanner to identify the phone’s owner, which could provide the necessary security for an iPhone-centric mobile payment solution.

Apple on Thursday confirmed a media event for September 9, with invitations bearing the opaque line, “Wish we could say more.” Re/code, a publication with a strong track record of predicting the secretive company’s plans, reports that Apple will announce two sizes of a next-generation iPhone and its long-rumored iWatch at the event.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

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