So the iPhone FINALLY has NFC capabilities. Well it kinda has NFC capabilities. When Apple announced that they had finally introduced the NFC chip to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6+, iOS users rejoiced with the ability to finally pay for items without having to fumble with their wallets. Tim Cook stood on stage at the Apple event, after showing that awkward video showing off how Apple Pay would help you’re day to day life, and look excited. I mean he should be excited, it’s something that Android users have had for years, and that had been rumored in iPhones for as long as I can remember.
There’s a catch though. There’s always a catch when it comes to Apple. Apple Pay will not be available to EVERYWHERE that accepts NFC as a form of payment. Users with the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6+ will only be able to use Apple Pay at locations that have the correct equipment. That means that you can’t go into your local grocery store, where there’s already an NFC Payment station available, and pay with your iPhone 6 or 6+. You’ll still have to fumble in your back pocket, or purse, for your wallet and pay that way.
What doesn’t make sense to me, is why Apple would FINALLY include NFC in their iPhone’s, but restrict them. Sure, Apple was able to get several “partners” who will be installing the Apple Pay stations, but that’s not the point. If Apple really wanted to expand on NFC across the nation/world/wherever, they SHOULD have made it “backwards compatible” with any location that provided NFC. Now as for those companies that support Apple Pay? Those are listed here:
- Apple Store (duh)
- Disney Stores
- Duane Reade
- Panera Bread
- Whole Foods Market
- Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Yeah, that’s still a pretty impressive list, but there’s quite a few popular locations still missing from the list. Walmart and Best Buy have already stated that they will NOT be installing the Apple Pay readers at their locations due to the cost that is associated with maintenance and fees for the NFC readers. Instead, Walmart and Best Buy are putting all their force into mobile technology called the Merchant Customer Exchange. Where this is beneficial for most locations is that the stores will only need to download software, and not install new checkout scanners. Also, when the mobile wallet application called CurrentC is launched in 2015, it will be compatible with Android and iOS devices.
While there are only 220,000 locations that will be supporting Apple Pay, there’s still an upside to this. Yeah, maybe the “cool” factor wears off over the course of the next few months or even the next year, but Apple Pay could jump start the NFC phase of payments. While NFC has steadily creeped into more and more locations in the last few years, it’s still obvious that not everywhere is ready, or willing, to pay the costs associated with NFC readers. Maybe, just maybe, Apple Pay could do something to jump start other locations, and businesses to install these readers.
Only time will tell. What are your thoughts on what will happen with Apple Pay? Do you think that NFC can become more widespread than it already is just due to Apple’s arrival into the game? Let us know in the comments below what you think will happen or should happen in the world of NFC.