Apple Plans to Replace Transit Passes with iPhone 6’s NFC
iPhone users have just started using Apple Pay to make purchases at cash registers and online stores. But the application of this NFC-based payment system is not limited to just this. According to The Information, Apple is in talks with keycard maker HID Global and Cubic to enable security features through which the NFC-equipped iPhone can be used as a pass to enter buildings and transit fare systems.
“The Apple representatives have spoken to technology providers like HID Global and Cubic, which enable secure access to buildings and transit fare systems respectively, briefed people involved in the discussions. Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment on any discussions with Apple, but executives there discussed how they could integrate their systems with the iPhone.” the report said.
This could only mean that the iPhone 6 could soon come with the ability to unlock hotel room doors and even pay public transit fares. Back at the launch of Apple Watch, the company publicly announced a partnership with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide that would allow Apple Watch owners to unlock their hotel room doors using bluetooth. However, that specifically isn’t NFC technology, but the concept is the same.
Currently, developers are not allowed to tap into the NFC chip found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. By allowing access to the NFC chip, the cards would be able to upload on the Passbook the same way credit cards are added. Users will then have to just tap on the home button at NFC-powered transit turnstiles to pay for their desired rides.
Its functions remain exclusively tied to Apple Pay, which launched with the release of iOS 8.1 last week. Apple hasn’t indicated any plans to open up NFC access in the future. However, report from The Information illustrated that Apple may selectively partner in offering NFC support. Initially, Apple also restricted Touch ID support until the launch of iOS 8, which now allows developers to offer fingerprint-based access with applications.