iPhone and iPad to get NFC payment services

Apple plans to introduce services that will enable iPhone and iPad users to make purchases, say US reports.

Apple plans to introduce services that will enable iPhone and iPad users to make purchases, say US reports.

The services will be based on near-field communication (NFC) technology, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, citing consulting firm Envisioneering Group.

NFC technology is to be embedded in the next version of the iPhone for carrier AT&T and in the iPad 2, which Envisioneering expects to be released later this year.

Apple's service will tap into consumer payment information already on file, including credit card numbers, iTunes gift-card balances and bank data.

Industry analysts believe Apple's NFC-based payment services could provide an alternative to services offered by Visa, MasterCard and PayPal.

Envisioneering said Apple was considering starting a mobile payment service as early as mid-2011 to revamp iTunes.

The service will enable users to make payments straight from an iPad or iPhone.

Apple has created a prototype of a payment terminal that small businesses could use to scan NFC-enabled iPhones and iPads, according to Envisioneering.

The consultancy firm added that Apple was considering heavily subsidising the terminal, or even giving it away to retailers, to encourage fast, nationwide adoption of NFC technology and boost sales of NFC-enabled iPhones and iPads,

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