Soon, you won't need to carry around a wallet - you'll just need an iPhone. Wired reports that Apple's new smartphone will include NFC mobile payments technology, as well as an iOS mobile payment platform. What's NFC, you ask? If you've ever used a car key that unlocks the vehicle wirelessly or a credit card where you just tap to pay, then you have already seen NFC in action. It is an acronym that stands for "Near Field Communications," and it allows nearby devices to communicate with each other without physical contact, like Bluetooth.
Implementing NFC is just one way the iPhone would be playing catchup to Android. Most Android devices already have NFC installed, which allows them to use "tap-and-pay" apps like Google Wallet and Isis Wallet. Mobile payment technology is incredibly convenient. We've used PayPal's mobile app for iOS, which requires you to open the app and show your photo to pay for something (instead of handling cash and credit cards). NFC would improve on this greatly, allowing the phone to act as your debit or credit card rather than relying on your PayPal account.
With the iPhone's fingerprint-sensing Touch ID home button, mobile payments could get even more secure. Most iPhone 5S users already use Touch ID to purchase and download apps from the App Store. Imagine using your thumb to pay for real goods like groceries! We'll know soon when Apple announces its latest products at a Sept. 9 special event. Need to catch up on all the latest news? Here's everything we know so far about the iPhone 6.