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MasterCard Hints at Contactless NFC Payment Capabilities for iPhone 5

Now that there are rumors of actual prototypes floating around, it’s time to get busy speculating about what we’ll have to gain from the iPhone 5 (or whatever Apple ends up calling the next-generation iPhone). If we had to choose one things to put at the top of our wish list, it just might be NFC payment capabilities. And now an official from MasterCard has dropped hints that Apple might be working on just that.

It’s been awhile since we’ve mentioned NFC technology, so how about a quick refresher: Imagine a set of standards that allowed your smartphone to establish radio communication with other devices when placed in close proximit y. Such technology could be used for the exchange of important data, and one possible application could be to revolutionize how we pay during day-to-day transactions. The “NFC” stands for near-field communication, and while it has apparently been in the works for years, it has yet to hit the mainstream market.

But you know what could help it make that jump?—a collaboration between some big players such as MasterCard and Apple. Recent statements from Mastercard’s Ed McLaughlin make it appear as though the iPhone 5 could very well come suited with the company’s NFC standard, meaning your iPhone could be used to make purchases wherever merchants offer the appropriate interface.

… Some hoped that we would already have this feature in the iPhone 4S, but now it’s time to start hoping again. With other smartphone makers—such as RIM—already known to be working with MasterCard, it’s beginning to look like Apple might have a lot to lose if they keep holding out.

 

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