Near-Field Communication or NFC might be about to go mainstream from a surprising source. Apple’s latest iPhone 5, under development, is as usual surrounded in a swirling mist of rumors and what-if scenarios. One of the more intersting of these is the claim that iPhone 5 will have built-in NFC hardware and the speculation is that Apple will seek to tie this into iTunes in some way.
Google has already included NFC in Nexus phones but it has not come to much without a popular payment processing system. Apple could have a more credible system with iTunes. Speculation is also rife that iPad 2 will come with NFC hardware for the same reason.
Does this mean Apple are looking to expand iTunes further and start to compete in the goods and services sector, including established on-line firms such as PayPal? or is this another piece of vertical integration within iTunes and Apple products.
If Apple successfully brings NFC to market it should light a fire under the large credit card companies and banks to make NFC systems work. Afterall, most of the potential revenue associated with NFC will come from payment processing.
The other implication of a successful model for NFC will be a drive for more mobile online payment systems, such as parking meters, toll roads and even point-of-sale.
Though NFC could have many other uses such as a form of electronic signature, or offering the ability to put electronic keys on a handset for access control, these do not offer the potential revenues of payment processing.
Hopefully, the speculation is true and Apple will push NFC, as this will bring much needed competition to the credit card companies and banks as well as make it easier for consumers to pay for goods and services. There are risks, security been the prime problem, and even though NFC has not been tested on a large scale in security terms, built-in