Feature Article

September 17, 2014

Apple to Hold Back on Making NFC Available to iOS App Developers

One of the most touted features of Apple’s new iPhone is its support for near field communications (NFC), which the company will leverage in its Apple Pay system. What is not included in those plans is to make the technology available to developers. Those who had hoped to develop iPhone6 apps that would use NFC for tasks like home automation, inter-device communication or file sharing will have to wait.

Apple Pay should have a large impact on the banking industry largely due to good timing. The upcoming EMV standard driven by Visa, MasterCard and EuroPay will go into effect October 2015. This will force many merchants to upgrade payment terminals from the older card swipe systems or cover the costs of fraudulent transactions occurring at outdated terminals.  

It also has some of the nation’s largest financial institutions scrambling to promote Apple Pay to their customers. JP Morgan, Citi and Wells Fargo already have advertising about the service on their websites.

The goal that all these banks seem to covet is for their card to be chosen by a customer as their default payment method. Such a card is more likely to get the most use and therefore generate the most fees from merchants.

It’s a process akin to how high a link appears in Google search results rankings. The first two pages of results will get clicked on the most, but after that, the probability of getting a click diminishes to a fraction of a percent. The default or first card will get the lion’s share of activity; the second card a much smaller percentage and any card after that wallows in relative obscurity.

Although iOS app developers have to be disappointed that they cannot access NFC on the iPhone6, it would be unwise for Apple to open up access prematurely. These devices are essentially digital wallets and it is likely that numerous bugs with Apple Pay would have to be discovered and corrected first. The service has the company’s name on it and any hacking incident or breach would be devastating to Apple Pay’s future as well as the futures of many temporarily disgruntled iPhone 6 developers. 




Edited by Maurice Nagle


FOLLOW MobilityTechzone

Subscribe to MobilityTechzone eNews

MobilityTechzone eNews delivers the latest news impacting technology in the Wireless industry each week. Sign up to receive FREE breaking news today!
FREE eNewsletter