Apple Pay may already be getting into some scraps with retailers wary of the Cupertino behemoth doing for mobile payments what it did with music downloads, but the system’s reach could increase exponentially according to new leaks regarding Apple’s broader plans. Over the weekend, reports circulated that CVS, Rite Aid, and others were disabling NFC-equipped registers in an attempt to block Apple Pay altogether, but according to a fresh report Apple’s goal is to expand the NFC system to cover access security and public transportation.
Apple has already been in talks with specialists in access and security for things like building entry tokens and public transportation fare systems, according to The Information’s sources, though none would comment on the record.
Still, according to the report, firms like HID Global and Cubic have met with Apple to discuss the potential ways that Apple Pay and the NFC technology underlying it could be integrated.
For instance, as well as your credit and debit cards showing up in Passbook, you could also have your travel card for the city metro. Holding your iPhone 6 near the turnstile reader could charge the trip straight to your account.
Apple Pay hands-on
When you reached the office, meanwhile, the phone might act as your security credentials to actually enter the building. A work ID could join your travel card and payment cards in Passbook, with HR able to update or deactivate employee credentials in real-time.
The pieces of such a system are not unfamiliar, but what could make the difference is Apple’s scale and the iPhone’s ubiquity. Cubic, which already works with a number of city transport systems, outlined its concepts for how a phone might integrate with public transit recently under the “NextCity” banner, for instance.
Cubic NextCity concept
By using route tracking, monitoring patterns of transit use by each person, and pushing out timely notifications, Cubic believes overall congestion could be lower while still making sure everyone gets to where they eventually want to be.
For instance, your smartphone could choose to wake you up earlier than your alarm is actually set for, if your usual trains or buses were delayed and a different, longer route would be needed to get you into work on time.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard of Apple Pay broadening its horizons. Last week, the concept of a loyalty program based on the NFC technology was raised, integrating with iAds and potentially using the Apple Beacon system to automatically apply relevant discounts if you use Apple Pay in a store where you have a virtual loyalty card.
On the flip-side, brands could potentially use iAds to push campaigns to Apple Pay-equipped shoppers nearby, thus encouraging more footfall through the door.
When, exactly, such enhancements to Apple Pay might arrive remains to be seen, though Cupertino may wait until it launches the technology on the Apple Watch before considering any expansion.
SOURCE The Information [Subscription req.]