Apple to include NFC chip in iPhone 6 for mobile payments push

Apple will equip the iPhone 6, expected to be announced on Sept. 9, with a near field communications (NFC) chip to enable mobile payments, reports Wired, citing sources familiar with the device.

The company has filed a number of patents related to mobile payments. Wired cites a patent published in January that describes how dual wireless protocols, such as NFC and Bluetooth, could be used to complete a mobile transaction while sensitive data is stored in the device's secure element.

In addition, AppleInsider said it uncovered an Apple patent application in which an NFC chip would be used to enable inductive, cordless charging on mobile devices. So it appears that NFC will be a key component of the new iPhone 6, which is expected to come in a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch size.

As FierceMobileIT reported previously, Apple has plenty of mobile payment data in the form of 800 million iTunes accounts, which include customers' credit card information.

"Mobile payments is the next killer app for Apple. Apple already has credit card information for most of iTunes accounts, its iPhone 5s has a fingerprint sensor that should lead to development of better security for payments, and Apple users tend to have higher disposable incomes than the population in general," explained Nigam Arora in a recent Forbes article.

In the mobile payments space, Apple will be competing with the likes of Square, PayPay, Google Wallet, Isis and newcomer Amazon.

However, even though consumers like the convenience of mobile payments, firms need to reverse user reluctance to mobile wallets. Security remains a top concern for consumers. Certainly, Apple has a leg up on security with the incorporation of a fingerprint ID sensor on the iPhone 5, which will likely carry over to the iPhone 6.

Also on Sept. 9, Apple is expected to unveil a new wearable device (perhaps the mythical iWatch), according to a report by Re/code.

For more:
- check out the Wired article
- read the AppleInsider story
- see the Forbes article
- check out the Re/code report

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