Apple is locking down the NFC capabilities on the new iPhones so it can only be used for Apple Pay, according to a report on Cult of Mac. This is very similar to what the company did with Touch ID when it was released on the iPhone 5s a year ago.
But now Apple has opened up the APIs so that other apps can take advantage of the fingerprint scanner on the device. While Apple would not elaborate on other plans for NFC if the company follows similar patterns the API may be available in another year.
This will also keep other NFC payment wallets off the iPhones. Consumers won’t be able to use SoftCard – formerly known as the payment scheme ISIS – or Google Wallet.
But this will also limit NFC’s other possible applications. The communications protocol can be used to read smart tags, pair with other devices and replace smart cards for physical access and identity applications.
While many in the identity space may have been salivating at the opportunity to provision credentials to new iPhones, they will have to wait a year before getting the opportunity.
Last week Apple announced that, the latest set of iPhones will include near field communication and consumers will be able to pay by using the Touch ID sensor built into the handset. The Apple Watch, a new wearable from the computing giant, will also have NFC and enable payments. The iPhones 6 and 6 Plus will both include NFC and a secure element that will store all the payment card data. Apple teamed with MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Capital One, and other banks, as well as 220,000 retailers.