Apple Pay to become more useful than ever as efforts focus on wider NFC adoption

Apple Pay to become more useful than ever as efforts focus on wider NFC adoption
An iPhone might soon be the only thing you need in your pockets

Apple has been trying to replace your wallet with your iPhone for years now. Despite the relatively wide adoption of Apple Pay (at least in the States), however, it’s still not abundant enough to make you think twice about leaving your wallet at home. One of the main reasons for that is that Apple, in its typical fashion, has restrained the things developers can use the available hardware and software for. But it seems that might be changing very soon.

Apple to unlock new possibilities for NFC


Apple recently announced changes coming to the way NFC can be used on its iPhones in combination with Apple Pay during a conference for electronic transactions. Called Transact, the conference was held in Las Vegas in late April and was host to a rare Apple presentation that’s not during one of the company’s own events.

Apple is looking to make it easier for businesses to integrate NFC payments into the Apple Pay ecosystem. To do that, it is going to allow its Core NFC framework to work with multiple NFC formats. Currently, Apple only supports one format called NFC Data Exchange Format. Three new formats are expected to be added with the release of iOS 13, MacWorld reports. These changes, among many others, will likely become official during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2019 that starts on June 3.

But NFC formats don’t matter to users, they care about what that means for the way they use their devices. There will be some noticeable improvements in that area if Apple’s plans come to fruition. The company’s goal is to make paying for almost everything as easy and convenient as possible. Let’s take a look at what’s its vision.

Apple Pay is your one-stop shop for everything from snacks to scooters 


One example given at the presentation was the so-called micro-mobility, which is a fancy term for all the scooter-renting services like Bird and Lime. Right now, each of those comes with its own app that you can use not only to locate a scooter but mostly to pay for your time using it. Needing an app and an account adds friction, as experts call it, which reduces the number of people that use the service. Apple is working in cooperation with some of these companies to remove that extra step. In the future, tapping on the NFC chip of the scooter will allow you to rent it straight from Apple Pay. This will not only make it easier for non-frequent users to rent scooters but will also improve security, as you’re not sharing payment information with yet another entity.

Apple Pay to become more useful than ever as efforts focus on wider NFC adoption
  Photo from @SteveMoser

And then there are parking meters. The ones that allow mobile payments come with their own app as well. Similar to the scooter approach, Apple aims to cut out the unnecessary step of installing and logging into various apps (companies still get their money, after all) by handling everything within Apple Pay. The same technology can be applied to almost anything, from vending machines to public transport and all sorts of venues that you need to pay to get into.

But NFC is not only useful for payments, it can carry all sorts of information. A few companies are already partnering with Apple to streamline the sign-up process for their loyalty programs by using NFC instead of paper forms people need to fill out.

Once the ball starts rolling, we’ll likely see more and more businesses joining Apple’s initiative. This move will strengthen its ecosystem and tie down iPhone users to the brand even more than they already are. Hopefully, it will also nudge Google to put more effort into its own Google Pay.

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11 Comments

1. iloveapps

Posts: 408; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Its nice apple is opening more nfc capabilities but I hope they would still put security and privacy on top. This is one main selling point of apple. They care about our data and not being use for monetization.

2. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Except for when they monetize it.

10. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5485; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

It's hardly opening up NFC capabilities if everything goes through Apple Pay. And I am pretty sure they want a piece of the pie for every transaction

3. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

This is a good step. Tap to pay is very convenient. I use Samsung Pay all the time, because it works nearly everywhere, unlike Apple Pay. But it's never going to make me leave my wallet at home. What am I going to do, hand the waitress my phone with the check? That's an unrealistic goal.

5. oldskool50

Posts: 499; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

At many eateries I frequent, the waitress has a tablet and you can use TAP to PAY. Example, Chili's is one place I love to eat at for lunch and I always pay right from my seat. Apple has the benefit of having the most banks. But they still have an acceptance problem, which isn't their fault; other than they cheaped out and went NFC only. Samsung Pay has lots of banks on board. they don't waste time with all the neighborhood banks like Apple does, but the 4 banks I use all support both. But I've already tried Apple Pay and with exception of fast food and some retailers, Apple Pay, Google Pay and other just don't work. Samsung Pay is the best. Last year alone I use it over 500+ times for purchase. I like that now my PayPal is linked to it, so I can use it for online purchases too outside of eBay.

9. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Summer chains have tap to pay, but the overwhelming majority of non fast food restaurants don't.

4. droiduh

Posts: 94; Member since: Jun 04, 2015

Many stores have stopped accepting NFC mobile payments. First Android Pay (Google Pay), then Samsung Pay, and now Apple Pay going away too.

6. oldskool50

Posts: 499; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Name one? The only major retailer I know that has blocked mobile payments is Sam's Club and Home Depot. Many places I frequent like target, now have new terminals that accept all the major mobile pay system. The only thing is when I shop and I watch people pay, I rarely see people using their mobile options. They still just whip out their cards. when I pay with my phone, I hear people standing in line saying how did he do that. Once I showed a person how to setup Apple Pay. she was like I've had this phone 2 years and I didn't know it could do that too. But Apple product buyers are suppose to be automatically smart. How can you use a phone for 2 years and not know about at least this major capability? Because Apple fans aren't tech savvy like Android users are.

7. droiduh

Posts: 94; Member since: Jun 04, 2015

ShopRite, Walgreens, Weis, CVS, and more. They have either completely removed or simply disabled them. There used to be poster signs and logos but now they are pretty much gone.

11. andynaija

Posts: 1247; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

@droiduh NFC is definitely present at Walgreens and has been for years and I just recently used Google Pay at CVS, so what you're saying is false.

8. droiduh

Posts: 94; Member since: Jun 04, 2015

Most employees don't know why they were removed or even knew those options existed.

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