According to a report by The Information, Apple may launch a mobile wallet service alongside its next iPhone this autumn.
The service would essentially turn the iPhone 6 (or whatever it’s called) into a portable payments platform: you could use it to pay for a bus ride or a pint of lager through touch-to-pay technology.
The report claims Apple is in discussions with “payments-industry companies” regarding the setup of the service and has told partners that a user’s financial credentials could be safely stored in a tamper-proof “secure element” on a phone or tablet.
READ MORE: iPhone 6 preview
NFC: Now For Certain?
Apple has apparently also said it intends to cut the mobile networks out of any payments programme in order to retain control of it, and that it may use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi for the touchless payment technology – although Near Field Communication is probably a stronger possibility.
Despite NFC becoming a standard feature on most higher-end smartphones, Apple has steered clear of using the technology thus far – but a proper mobile wallet service could change all that. NFC provides an instant, fuss-free connection between two gadgets, while Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are far more fiddly. One advantage they have, however, is that they’re on older iPhone models, which could mean the payment system isn’t restricted to the next generation of iPhones.
As we say, it’s just a rumour for now – but an interesting one all the same. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, keep up to date with the latest Apple smartphone rumours in our iPhone 6 preview.