Fans of Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology were dismayed when it turned out the the NFC in Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can only be used for Apple Pay. However, now it seems that Apple is in talks to extend the capabilities of the technology to transit payments and keycards.
NFC providers HID Global and Cubic are reportedly in talks with Apple to use the new iPhones’ NFC chips as secure access cards to buildings, public transit tickets, and more. Spokespeople from both companies spoke to the Information under the condition of anonymity and revealed that in the near future, the iPhone could replace the NFC-based Clipper card thats used on the BART subway network in San Francisco. Theoretically, the technology could also work at any public transit network that has NFC-enabled ticketing.
The sources also told the publication that iPhones may be used instead of keycards to gain entry to offices, buildings, and other locked rooms that can be opened with NFC cards. The companies didn’t say when the NFC chip on the new iPhones will work in these kinds of scenarios. It’s also unclear whether Apple will open up the NFC chip in its phones to work with other apps that are not focused on mobile payments.
In the meantime, Apple faces an uphill battle with retailers as it tries to convince them that installing Apple Pay in NFC-enabled payment terminals is a good investment. Recently, several retailers announced that they will not support Apple Pay or other NFC-based payments, in favor of competing technology.