Apple is reportedly ready to expand the NFC capabilities of its iPhone line of smartphones with the ability to accept payments from credit cards. Near Field Communication (NFC) is a contactless technology and it is already available on iPhones. However, with the new expansion, users will be able to accept payments without a third-party device for the first time.
With just an iPhone, users will be able to take payments in much the way they can on Apple Pay. Bloomberg reports this change is going to be baked into future versions of iOS.
Under the current functionality, businesses can only accept NFC payments on iPhone if they have an external hardware. For example, payment terminals that come from a bank or other financial service.
Apple now wants to include tap-to-pay abilities into iOS, so it will work on iPhone and iPad. In other words, the phone or tablet will become the payment terminal. This could be an important feature addition for small business that can avoid the costs of extra hardware.
It is unknown if the tool will be exclusive to Apple Pay or simply work on the device, although the former seems more likely.
Importantly, it seems Apple is not going to wait until a new iPhone launch. Usually the company saves major new features for a new generation of its flagship product. Instead, Cupertino will reportedly add the NFC upgrade into iOS directly.
Bloomberg suggests this could happen with iOS.4, which should make it to devices in the next few months. Apple is rolling out iOS 15.3 as we speak. Perhaps we will have to wait until iOS 16, which should be announced this spring.
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