Photo: Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
Yes, the rumour that Apple is planning on adding a mobile payments service to the iPhone is back. This time it’s coming from an interview a MasterCard exec gave to Fast Company.Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s mobile payments boss, sort of let it slip that Apple is at least working on mobile payments in the iPhone:
…I don’t know of a handset manufacturer that isn’t in process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready.
When asked if that includes Apple, McLaughlin said:
Um, there are…like I say, [I don’t know of] any handset maker out there…Now, when we have discussions with our partners, and they ask us not to disclose them, we don’t.
But just because Apple is working on it, doesn’t mean it’ll actually come to pass. Smartphone users have been slow to adopt mobile payment systems like Google Wallet. Google Wallet uses a near field communication (NFC) chip to transfer payment data to credit card readers. (That’s what McLaughlin means when he says “PayPass ready.)
But McLaughlin does note that if a major player like Apple does adopt NFC payments, it could be the catalyst to make the system go mainstream.
Plus, this rumour isn’t new. We’ve been hearing that Apple plans to add NFC to the iPhone and iPad since 2010. It still hasn’t happened.