The rumour mill regarding the upcoming iPhone 5 and iPad 2 just got a little more interesting today – Apple is rumoured to be working on contactless payment solutions that will allow consumers to pay for purchases using nothing more than their mobile handsets.
Ever wished that you had more room in your wallet? Well, if the rumours are to be believed, you can soon free up space by leaving your credit cards and loyalty cards at home, and bringing out your iPhone or iPad instead.
According to Bloomberg, Apple is reportedly in the process of building a mobile payment service based on near-field communication or NFC technology. This technology is currently built into Visa's payWave and MasterCard's PayPass-enabled credit cards, and allows consumers to pay by simply waving their cards over a special card reader.
While no firm release date has been set by Apple, Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group, told Bloomberg that this service might be launched "as early as mid-2011". Apple is also expected to revamp iTunes to store not only users' credit card details, but also details on their loyalty credits and points.
It is also suggested that Apple could use this service to improve its iAd service and provide consumers with personalised ads based on their spending habits, and also increase its revenue from this service by charging advertisers more for these ads.
Apple has reportedly applied for a patent on a system that uses NFC to share information between various Apple devices, and has also created a prototype payment terminal for this rumoured mobile payment service.