Apple has long been one of the biggest obstacles for the wide-spread adoption of near field communication powered mobile commerce. The technology giant and innovator has resisted adding the feature to its hardware, despite rumors before many previous press events that it would finally be unveiled.
According to an article from Business Insider, Apple has 600 million customer accounts on file, most of which are linked to a credit card. Once NFC is added to the iPhone, all of these consumers will already be setup to use it at the cash register. However, the company has refused, which has caused adoption of the technology to stall.
"Every time I bring up payment platform options with my executives, they say 'Let's just wait and see what Apple does,'" one retail industry insider told the news source.
Ming Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst from KGI Securities, was interviewed in the article and makes the case that this will be the year that Apple finally gives in and adds NFC technology to the iPhone and the iWatch, which has been rumored to be in development for some time. He said that the company did have a patent approved earlier this year that outlines a mobile payment system that utilized NFC as the backbone.
There is also industry buzz regarding Google's announcement that it is incorporating host card emulation technology into the Google Wallet. Windsor Holden, the research director for Juniper, told the news source that "NFC payments are currently getting a shot in the arm with the emergence of HCE."
While NFC has remained on the outside looking in, a change of view from Apple would cause a seismic shift in the payment industry.