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Bryan Yurcan
Bryan Yurcan
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Is Apple Preparing a Mobile Wallet?

Leaked photos of the next generation iPhone purportedly show an NFC chip as part of the device.

Ever since Apple announced the development of the Passbook app in July, many have speculated that it could be the first step of an Apple foray into the world of mobile wallets.

Passbook will arrive in the autumn along with iOS 6 and can be downloaded for the iPhone or iPad. Its features include the ability to store card information, airline boarding passes, coupons or concert tickets, and it uses geo-location technology to display targeted offers to the user. An example of this feature the company gave is a Passbook user going to a Starbucks and opening the app, where the user would then see their Starbucks membership card to scan.

Now, adding further fuel to the fire, leaked photos of the iPhone 5 have led many to think it will be NFC-enabled.

The popular blog Techcrunch is seems pretty confident this will be the case. One blogger writes:

The next iPhone has already leaked out in almost every way, shape and form, yet new images continue to surface. This time, we’re allegedly seeing the most complete view of the next iPhone to date, including what appears to be an NFC chip…

…With the inclusion of Passbook in iOS 6, I feel comfortable believing that Apple will implement NFC come September 21. Along with the rumored 4-inch screen (which feels all but confirmed), the strange two-tone back panel, and the new mini-dock, it would seem that this should be one of the more transformed iPhone models ever.

If Apple got into the mobile wallet game, it would certainly be a big deal. There have been many new digital wallet initiatives announced over the past year, occurring on a seemingly weekly basis. But if the world's number one consumer company got involved in the space, it could play a huge role in driving mobile payments mainstream.

[Will Mobile Wallets Replace Their Traditional Counterparts?]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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