Apple to finally embrace NFC with iPhone 6 mobile payment platform

Apple is set to incorporate a mobile payments platform into its next iPhone release, and it is likely to involved NFC.

Sources close to the company told WIRED that the iPhone 6 will feature its own payment service to go head-to-head with existing platforms like Google Wallet, Isis and Square.

Read more: Rumour: Apple puts foot in the door of mobile payments industry

Rival services have been in operation for several years now, so while it is a little surprising that Apple has taken this long to enter the market, the Cupertino-based firm is well positioned to deliver a successful mobile payments platform.

The company already has over 800 million credit cards on file through iTunes accounts and thanks to the millions of iOS devices already in use, the service shouldn't suffer from a shortage of users.

Over the years, Apple has filed several patents relating to e-commerce transactions. One such proposal, published in January, detailed how NFC and Bluetooth could be paired to complete payment, while sensitive data was stored in a "secure element" within the handset's hardware.

Another patent also suggests that Apple is looking at a location and context-aware system that would offer the user coupons or rewards when relevant.

The company has made a major push to get its Bluetooth LE-transmitting iBeacons into stores across the US, which enable smartphones to determine their precise location and context. Apple didn't really spend much time discussing its iBeacons at this year's WWDC, but it is possible that they will form part of the rumoured mobile payments platform.

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Other possibilities are also open to the firm, including incorporating Touch ID into the platform's security. In any case, more details are likely to be revealed at Apple's media event on the 9 September.