Apple Tapping the Brakes on Mobile Payments? 

July 9, 2012

While hot rumors bounced around the blogosphere last week that Apple’s iPhone 5, when unveiled later this year, would include support for NFC, a published report this weekend appears to chill that speculation. The Wall Street Journal article notes Apple’s proclivity to take a wait-and-see approach to new markets in the past (the company was not the first to launch MP3 players, smartphones or tablets—it just seems that way) and says the company is treating mobile payments the same way.

Apple began researching mobile payment solutions at about the same time Google was launching Google Wallet for Android, the report says, and, while NFC rumors persist due to examination of patent filings and code pulled from Pre-EVT iPhone prototypes, the company also has looked at Bluetooth and Internet-based solutions due to worries over security and slow retailer adoption of NFC. Analysts still expect Apple to expand its upcoming Passbook service (which enables the aggregation and management of loyalty and rewards cards, tickets and coupons) by linking to payment cards to enable mobile purchases. When that will happen, however, is less clear now than ever.