iPhone 5 could replace your Credit Card with NFC chip
Apple‘s next iPhone could do away with the need for credit cards, with reports that it plans to introduce NFC chips – like those found in contactless credit cards – into the iPhone 5 and iPad.
NFC, or Near Field Communications, is the same kind of technology that’s used in things like Barclaycard’s contactless cards and the Oyster cards used on London transport. It would allow phones to act as payment devices, as well as a range of other functions, like travel cards and e-tickets.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple are planning on incorporating NFC in both the iPhone 5 – likely to be released in June or July this summer – and the iPad 2, thought to be out in March or April.
NFC is widely seen as one of the next big technologies for the smartphone world as makers look to bring more and more everyday functions into their handsets. But it also requires a lot of real world infrastructure – currently, there’s hardly any places you could pay with an NFC device . Apple getting on board would be a major boost to its prospects.
It also suggests that Apple – who already have a successful payment processing system in the form of iTunes – may have spotted a potentially lucrative opportunity to handle payments for other transactions, potentially cutting credit card companies out of the loop entirely.
One phone on the market already comes with NFC built-in – the Nexus S, the flagship Android phone from Apple’s rivals Google. New versions of Android also have NFC support incorporated into the software, and Google have hinted at plans for NFC that include ‘tagging’ venues with your phone as a form of location sharing.