A new report from Wired backs up months of leaks and rumors all pointing to one potential new feature for the iPhone 6: NFC-powered mobile payments. According to multiple anonymous sources cited by the magazine, Apple will unveil its new payment platform at a September 9 event where it’s expected to announce two new iPhones and a wearable device.
Wired goes on to argue that Apple’s mobile payment service could hinge on iBeacons, which the company introduced last year with iOS 7. Since then we haven’t heard much about the new technology, though Cupertino’s been quietly pushing to have it installed in as many stores as possible. So it seems likely iBeacon could get some attention during next month’s rumored iPhone 6 event, too.
Beyond NFC and iBeacon, iPhone mobile payments will likely rely on a handful of pre-existing Apple services and features. There’s Touch ID, which could be instrumental in providing a secure way to access your financial information. There’s also the 800 million credit card numbers already saved to iTunes accounts, which could potentially carry over to the new platform. Finally, it looks like Passbook could finally get a little more attention as a place to store tickets, coupons and even receipts acquired through the new service.
Mobile payments still haven’t really taken off on any platform, but at the moment Apple appears to be lagging behind competitors like Google Wallet, Square and Isis. That could change pretty quickly if the upcoming iPhones lives up to these rumors, though that may depend on whether Cupertino is finally willing to embrace NFC or find an alternative solution.