If the rumor is true, Apple could be on the verge of propelling the much anticipated NFC (Near Field Communication) payment system closer to retail acceptance. NFC is a new alternative to Bluetooth technology. It’s slower than Bluetooth, but doesn’t require pairing, and doesn’t require the targeted entity to be powered, which lends itself to barcode readers and the like. It also creates a connection in less than 1/10th of a second. The first popular use for the technology will be at POS systems, and many manufacturers have already announced and released phones that come with NFC enabled.
One of the main reasons retailers haven’t been quick to accept NFC as a valid payment options has little to do with security, compatibility or cost. It is simply the fact that Apple hasn’t embraced the technology on its iDevices. Given the market share the titular device enjoys, it’s no wonder that retailers are willing to wait. However, according to BGR’s Apple sources, current reworking of many Apple POS systems and installation of new payment desks using different wiring schemes may point a possible NFC payment option in Apple stores.
While this hasn’t been in any way confirmed, if Apple decides to enable in-store NFC payments, it’s an almost sure sign that NFC capability will be included in the iPhone 5, expected to be released in September. Once Apple jumps on the NFC bandwagon, retailers will likely follow suit pretty quickly, and NFC rollouts may just sweep the nation.