A lot has been said thus far about contactless paying allegedly coming to future iPhones via an NFC chip. Some high-end Android handsets have this chip embedded while patent filings by Apple indicate the company is at least considering ways to turn the iconic smartphone into a comprehensive e-wallet for wireless payments on the go.
BSN analyzed how the Californian firm might leverage its iTunes billing system and take contactless transactions mainstream with its world-class marketing, brand power and the upcoming iPad 2 and iPhone 5 releases. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, PhoneScoop spotted a brief mention of wireless payments in conjunction with the iPhone.
What’s interesting, the reference was found in a PowerPoint presentation belonging to T-Mobile. The Deutsche Telekom-owned wireless operator apparently told a private audience of business partners it expected NFC-enabled iPhones this year:
Deutsche Telekom announced that it expects NFC phones in 2011 from Apple, Samsung in Q2, and RIM & LG in Q3. The company expects mobile payments replacing cash to be the most popular use for NFC technology, followed by mobile ticketing for services such as public transportation.
Engadget was able to confirm PhoneScoop’s finding that T-Mobile’s presentation indeed contained said slide. Deutsche Telekom earlier today put out a press release announcing plans to build Mobile Wallet for mobile payments, tickets and bonus programs in Germany and Poland later this year, with the US roll out in 2012 through a joint venture of T-Mobile USA with AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Interestingly, the statement didn’t name Apple.
NFC, which stands for Near-Field Communication, is designed to facilitate secure over-the-air transactions at up to four inches (about ten centimeters) distance. Technology requires an enabled device with an embedded NFC chip and a terminal that transmits and receives data from nearby devices and settles payments in a secure manner with a user’s bank. Most NFC terminals are compatible with existing contactless infrastructure, which allows them to communicate with both existing ISO/IEC 14443 smartcards/readers and other NFC devices.