Near Field Communications (NFC) technology has long been rumored to be coming to the iPhone, but now it appears that the iPhone 5 will be the first iPhone to come with the technology built in. As you may recall, both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S were rumored to be getting NFC; however, neither one ultimately did. The NFC iPhone 5 rumor is more likely to be true, though, as it comes from a pretty credible source: a Fastcompany.com interview with Ed McLaughlin, head of emerging payments at MasterCard.
Head of Emerging Payments at MasterCard Hints at iPhone 5 NFC Technology
Although McLaughlin did not mention Apple or the iPhone 5 by name in the interview, he did apparently hint at a NFC partnership between MasterCard and Apple. “The timeline is always as rapid as it makes sense for consumers. That’s a combination of having a critical mass of the merchants, which is what you’re seeing right now, and getting devices into the hands of consumers. I don’t know of a handset manufacturer that isn’t in the process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready,” McLaughlin told Fastcompany.
When asked if that included Apple and the iPhone 5, McLaughlin replied to Fastcompany “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.” The fact that McLaughlin didn’t come out and deny a partnership with Apple has set the Internet buzzing about a potential NFC-enabled iPhone 5. An NFC iPhone 5 would make a lot of sense, as payment options are becoming more and more digital today.
What NFC Is
Essentially, Near Field Communication technology works by establishing communications between only two devices when they are touched or are in close proximity of each other. NFC has been around for a while in the form of MasterCard PayPass and other NFC-enabled technologies. In the case of PayPass, the technology allows users to move their PayPass-enabled MasterCard credit card over the point of sale terminal reader rather than having to swipe or insert the card into the reader. The NFC connection is considered to be secure.
What an NFC iPhone 5 Means for You
The previously released Nexus S smartphone can both accept payments and make payments through NFC. It is expected that the NFC iPhone 5 will be able to do the same. What this means is that your iPhone 5 will be able to accept payments from NFC-enabled credit cards. If you own a small business or are collecting payment from a friend or relative, this means that you can use your iPhone 5 to collect the payment via credit card.
Perhaps even more exciting and convenient is the idea that your iPhone 5 can become your credit card. Rather than having to carry around cash or multiple credit cards with you for daily purchases, you can simply hold your iPhone 5 above the NFC terminal reader. You won’t have to worry about typing in a PIN or signing for your purchase, either; the NFC technology takes care of that.
The iPhone 5 may also be capable of storing documents received through NFC. That means things purchased through the NFC system like plane/train tickets, concert/sporting event tickets, and even police tickets or doctor’s prescriptions can, in theory, be stored on the iPhone 5.
What Do You Think?
How useful would you find NFC technology to be on your iPhone 5? Do you have any security concerns with the idea of using an NFC-enabled iPhone 5? Give us your opinion on the possible NFC iPhone 5.
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