iOS 8 will add quite a bit to the repertoires of Apple’s array of devices, but with the prospect of the company’s first smartwatch also on the table, things are shaping up very interestingly. We’re already aware of the significant emphasis on health and home automation thanks to the respective introductions of HealthKit and HomeKit back at WWDC, but with NFC finally becoming one of the Cupertino company’s ‘things’, there’s been rife speculation that mobile payments will be an integral part of the revitalized iOS experience.

The Wall Street Journal has waded in once more, underlining its previous sentiments that both the iWatch and iPhone 6 will make a concerted push with e-payments, and although the Android market has offered these facilities for a couple of years now, there’s a lingering feeling that Apple’s indulgence will provide the required ignition.

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The WSJ cites those familiar with Apple’s pre-release movements in suggesting that NFC will be the focal point of Apple’s move towards tap-to-pay, revealing that users will be able to link credit cards to their Apple IDs and pay simply by scanning or tapping a device over an NFC terminal.

When we learned of Apple’s Passbook intentions with iOS 6, it seemed a relative certainty that NFC and mobile payments would follow suit, and indeed, it was widely suspected that the device eventually known as the iPhone 5 would offer Near-Field Communication. However, this never transpired, and fashionably late as ever, the Cupertino giant finally looks to be joining the party.

Mobile payments via iWatch and iPhone would, for the most part, negate the need to carry cash and cards around, and although any transition towards widespread e-payments is likely to be a long-winded one, it should make the life of the everyday consumer a great deal easier.

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With the tech having been in place for a few years now, it seems almost ridiculous that NFC hasn’t become a staple part of our lives already, but once Apple takes to the stage at the Flint Center next week, it will likely signal the beginning of a more concerted push in this regard.

Sure, the iWatch and iPhone 6 are eagerly anticipated, but the knock-on effect that Apple’s NFC endeavors could have on the mobile market in general – including Android and Windows Phone handsets and watches – should not be understated.

We’ll be closely monitoring events prior, during, and following the September 9th special event, so stay tuned!

(Source: WSJ)

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