For years, Apple was shy about embracing NFC payment technology, while the rest of the world–particularly countries in Asia–moved full-speed ahead. Google, for example, has offered users NFC payments via its Wallet app since 2011. But with the release of Apple Pay, Apple is diving all in on one-tap payments. (For further reading, my brave colleague Harry McCracken going a week using Apple Pay only. Spoiler alert: He’s doing well! At least so far.)
But now, according to The Information, the company is looking to expand the iPhone’s touch confirmation capabilities into other fields, including–possibly–public transit and building security.
In New York, for example–where the MTA managed to very publicly botch an expensive proposed NFC rollout a few years ago–instead of swiping at a turnstile using a MetroCard, you could simply tap your phone and be on your way, easing congestion and saving you a few precious milliseconds. Or maybe you could use your iPhone to get into your hotel room or apartment building with a simple tap.
That idealized, phone-centric vision of the future is much bigger than Apple, of course–building NFC into city infrastructure will take time and tax dollars. And much of this is contingent on whether Apple Pay catches on or not. So far, the Apple Pay rollout has gone well, but it’s beginning to hit a few stumbles: Over the weekend, big-time retailers like Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, and more confirmed that they were ditching Apple Pay in favor of their own payment system, which will reportedly rely on QR codes. Currently, Reddit users in favor of NFC payments in both r/Apple and r/Android are attempting to organize boycotts of these retailers.
[h/t: The Information]