Ed McLaughlin, head of emerging payments at MasterCard, has given some weight to rumors that Apple’s next iPhone will finally include near field communication technology. In a recent interview with Fast Company, McLaughlin said that he expected the use of contactless payment systems like MasterCard’s PayPass – which rely on NFC technology – to expand rapidly in the near future.
Part of the reason for that expansion, he said, is the technology’s penetration into the smartphone market. McLaughlin insisted that “I don’t know of a handset manufacturer out there that isn’t in the process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready.” When pressed on whether that included Apple, McLaughlin would only repeat that there aren’t any handset manufacturers not working on the technology.
Though still in its early days, the technology is becoming increasingly common in the smartphone market. Google Wallet, a system designed for Android phones with NFC technology, stores users’ credit card data on their phones so that they can use them with NFC-based payment systems like PayPass. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which launched late last year, includes NFC, and the major mobile phone carriers are said to be working on their own mobile payment system much like Google Wallet (which, incidentally, is likely the reason Verizon blocked Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus when it launched).
More than two years ago we began hearing rumors that the iPhone 4 would have NFC. When the iPhone 4 launch came and went with no mention of NFC, it was thought that Apple might include it in the iPhone 5. In October the iPhone 5 was revealed as the iPhone 4S, and still NFC technology was notably absent. Now, of course, rumors are flying that the next iPhone will finally have the technology built in. Though hardly an direct confirmation, McLaughlin’s statements are strongly suggest that those rumors are correct.[Via Fast Company]