When Apple released the details of the iPhone 5 yesterday. many were surprised that the phone did not feature NFC technology of any sort. When Apple announced plans for the Passbook app, speculation ran rampant that it was the first hint of a full-on mobile wallet. Passbook features 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.
Couple that with what some assumed was an NFC chip in leaked photos of the iPhone 5, and the common thought was that it was all but a forgone conclusion that Apple would soon be competing with Google Wallet and Isis in a short matter of time.
However, the lack of an NFC component seemed to take the wind out of those sails, at least for now. However, Apple's venture into digital payments isn't necessarily abandoned just because the new iPhone doesn't have NFC. There are of course cloud-based mobile wallets. In fact, Apple execs told bloggers covering the release event that “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today," without NFC. And nothing is preventing Apple from making any sort of announcement in the near future about further payments capabilities down the road.
But, at least for now, it seems Apple isn's entering the mobile wallet foray, at least in the way we expected.
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