The release date of the much-anticipated iPhone 5 has yet to be announced, but rumors are circulating that it will contain a NFC chip to enable the device to be used for contactless payments. Merchants are gearing up for a wider implementation of Near Field Communications technology which is expected to really take off sometime in 2013.
In fact, many Android handsets are already compatible with NFC and the payment system is powered by Google Wallet, but malware infestation is a big concern with Android devices as hackers have recently launched attacks by taking legitimate apps and re-releasing them after repackaging them with an attack code. The hope being that users will be confused by the fake app and download an infected one instead of a real one.
Experts predict that as soon as Apple supports NFC payment technology it will be brought to the forefront of consumer consciousness. Apple has already dipped their toe into the waters with EasyPay, a revolutionary new payment system launched towards the end of 2011 where by a consumer is able to go into an Apple retail store and scan and pay for certain Apple products with their iPhone without having to wait online. So far this self-checkout system has been deemed a success.
In order for an iPhone NFC payment system to work effectively, Apple must utilize both the big payment processors Visa and MasterCard so that both authorization systems are supported and users are afforded protection against fraud. Visa has already engaged in various tests with Apple products. Meanwhile, a MasterCard Paypass NFC representative stated recently at Macworld, “I don`t know of a handset manufacturer that isn`t the process of making sure their stuff is Paypass ready,” reports the online news source geek.com.
When the rep was pressed specifically about Apple, he replied by saying, “Um, there are… like I say, [I don’t know of] any handset maker out there. Now, when we have discussions with our partners, and they ask us not to disclose them, we don`t,” according to geek.com.
These comments have generated a lot of buzz as speculations are made regarding a partnership between Apple and Paypass for the eagerly awaited iPhone 5.