A new report claims that a larger display isn’t the only major new feature coming with the iPhone 6.
The always talkative “sources familiar with the matter” have told Wired that one of the iPhone 6’s “hallmark features” will be its own payment platform that includes NFC support. A user’s sensitive payment information would reportedly be stored in a secure element inside the device, with features like NFC and Bluetooth being used to conduct transactions.
It’s also said that Apple has been working toward creating a payment system. The Information recently reported that Apple has been talking with payment companies and has been making hires related to creating a business with all of the credit cards that it’s already got.
Details on how the iPhone’s payment system would work are still unknown, but it’s possible that the platform will use a combination of Bluetooth-powered iBeacons to identify when an iOS users enters the store, Touch ID for security and possibly Passbook as well.
Rumors of an NFC-equipped iPhone are nothing new, with reports as far as back 2010 claiming that such a device could be in the works. A 2012 report claimed that Apple was taking its time to investigate mobile payments so that it could figure out how to properly secure an NFC chip and ensure that the tech wouldn’t have a huge impact on battery life.
Apple is known for taking the time to ensure that it can get a new feature just right before adding it to the iPhone, and it’s possible that that’s the case with NFC and mobile payments. With its iTunes database of hundreds of millions of credit card numbers, the company wouldn’t have trouble establishing a large base of mobile payment users out of the gate. Of course, it’s also possible that just like in years past, these NFC rumors will turn out to be nothing more than that: rumors.