The news, which comes from BrightWire (via MacRumors), cites “sources familiar with the matter” and argues that Cupertino has also signed a mobile payments deal with China UnionPay. BrightWire explains:
Apple is likely to incorporate a Near Field Communication (NFC) payment function in the next generation iPhone and has reached an agreement with China UnionPay on a mobile payment service, according to a source close to the matter.
The report continues: “In addition to NFC payment, the two companies will also work together on another mobile payment solution that can be used for purchases in Apple Stores, added the source.”
NFC is something we’d expected Apple to bring to its iPhone handset before now, yet the lack of a clear standard across the industry dissuaded Cupertino from taking the plunge. Passbook, a mobile wallet application designed to house club cards, tickets, and coupons, launched with iOS 6, however as of this writing the service hasn’t been turned into an all-out mobile payments solution.
We heard not long ago that Touch ID could be the foundation of an upcoming mobile payments service from Apple, and as such BrightWire’s report is definitely intriguing. A mobile payments system for Apple Retail Stores seems like a natural development for the company to make: Cupertino indeed added mobile-centeric iBeacons to its U.S. stores last year, and Angela Ahrendts – Apple’s new SVP of Retail – famously used in-store technology to revolutionize Burberry venues back when she was CEO of the label.
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