Apple is planning to launch NFC mobile payment for the iPhone and iPad as early as mid-2011, according to Bloomberg.
Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group, told Bloomberg that the next iPhone and iPad 2, both due to launch later this year, are expected to feature embedded NFC chips that will allow users to make payments by simply tapping the devices against a reader.
According to Richard Crone, leader of financial industry adviser Crone Consulting LLC, Apple can substantially cut down on its costs by introducing mobile payment. The iTunes store racks up big processing bills for Apple, whereas mobile payment would draw directly from the user’s bank account, saving Apple the processing fee.
Doherty says Apple may also upgrade iTunes to hold loyalty cards and points in addition to credit-card account information.
In preparation for the launch, Apple has created a prototype NFC-compatible payment terminal for small businesses. Doherty says Apple is considering “heavily subsidizing” the new terminal, or else just giving them away to hasten the adoption of NFC nationwide.
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