Mobile and contactless payments are already fairly prevalent in certain areas of retail, but there remains a lingering feeling that Apple’s NFC endeavors with the iPhone 6 will give the industry the push that it quite clearly needs. With said handset due for announcement tomorrow, Both Apple and Disney appear making preparations for its arrival, and while Apple is adding more fire-power to its in-store iBeacons system, Disney has been seen upgrading its NFC-ready payment systems.
As we’ve already seen countless times, iBeacons add a new dimension to the experience of shooing and navigating through Apple Retail stores in general. But as well as linking in nicely with the Apple Store app for iOS and providing in-depth information, iBeacons can also be utilized for the purpose of authenticating payments, and given the recent images leak that has brought Apple’s iCloud service under scrutiny for all the wrong reasons, the Cupertino company will want to ensure that its new payments system is watertight.
When Passbook first emerged along with iOS 6, it was widely suspected that the corresponding iPhone 5 would facilitate mobile payments, but with a distinct lack of NFC, the feature was predominantly used for vouchers. Aside from a little early fuss, though, Passbook has since become a rather dormant stock feature used by very few, but with NFC now a part of the bargain, things appear to be heating up.
Users will be able to store credit cards using the app, and securely make payments with minimal fuss. Although it’ll take a while for many retailers to cotton on, it shouldn’t be long before many iPhone 6 users will be able to disregard their physical credit cards almost entirely, instead channeling everything through Apple’s new infrastructure.
Disney might be a company closely associated with Apple, making these latest moves less than surprising, but with the iPhone 6 now all-but announced, it’s not the only big name to be making such preparations. Last week, it emerged that McDonald’s was also busy making plans for NFC payments, and given that such an infrastructure is already in place throughout its UK restaurants, the fast food giant should have little trouble with this expansion.
With Walgreens and CVS having also struck deals with Apple for mobile payments, all we’re waiting on is the device itself, and we’ll have full-on coverage of tomorrow’s big keynote right here for you at Redmond Pie.