by Joe White
February 1, 2011
Visa is reportedly testing NFC capable iPhones in Europe. The handsets are equipped with a hardware accessory that contains an NFC chip, as well as iOS compatible payment software installed. Apple's next generation iPhone is expected to be NFC capable. Last year, Apple famously employed an "NFC expert," hinting at the company's interest in near field communications. Since then, a variety of rumors have circulated, all of them stating the iPhone 5 will ship with a built in NFC chip. One of the best features NFC would offer is the ability to transform an iPhone into a "mobile wallet." Using new, wireless technology, shoppers could pay for goods via an iPhone or iPad. These rumors were further supported yesterday when Visa started prepping Europe for payments via NFC capable devices. The fact that Visa was testing this on an NFC equipped iPhone hints at not only an NFC capable iPhone 5, but also the possible release of a clip on NFC accessory. This means all iPhone users would be able to take advantage of NFC, so long as they have the aforementioned accessory and the relevant version of Apple's iOS, or a third party app, installed. We'll keep you posted.