MasterCard talks NFC payments in phones, possibly the iPhone 5


Ed McLaughlin, lead of “emerging payments” at MasterCard, talked to Fast Company about the future of NFC in smartphones. He sidestepped the question about Apple, but it’s pretty clear something is up:

But when asked to give an estimate for when smartphone payments would become commonplace (in other words, would 2012 be the year of NFC or contactless tech?), McLaughlin demurred–and may have dropped a hint about Apple’s future in the industry.”The timeline is always as rapid as it makes sense for consumers,” he says. “That’s a combination of having a critical mass of the merchants, which is what you’re seeing right now, and getting devices into the hands of consumers. I don’t know of a handset manufacturer that isn’t in process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready.” So that would include Apple then? “Um, there are…like I say, [I don’t know of] any handset maker out there,” McLaughlin says. “Now, when we have discussions with our partners, and they ask us not to disclose them, we don’t.”

Apple is on the vanguard of sales and retail. Without a doubt, they want their users to have the best possible experience when purchasing things with their phones and at their retail outlets. When Apple figures out the best implementation, we’ll be sure to see it.

With the sheer number of phones sold as well as the mind share that Apple has, they’ll need to be on board before NFC-based payments can really take off. Sure, some Android phones have had NFC for a long while, but the market has responded with a firm “Big whoop.”

Do you think the next iPhone will include NFC? What about the iPod touch and iPad? Sound off in the comment section below this post, so we can really explore this topic.

Source: Fast Company

Grant is a writer from Delaware. In his spare time, Grant maintains a personal blog, hosts The Weekly Roar, hosts Quadcast, and writes for video games.