Apple and the NFC Forum are bringing contactless payments to public transit

apple pay australian banks feud
Live in a stateside metro with a robust public transit system and upset you can’t use NFC in lieu of a physical ticket? Apple shares your frustration. On Wednesday, the NFC Forum, an industry lobbying group which Apple joined last August, announced a collaboration with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) to hasten the move from paper bus, subway, and railway passes to the near-field communication (NFC) technologies found in the iPhone 6S, Apple Watch, and hundreds of other popular mobile devices.

The long-term partnership will see the NFC Forum and APTA work to “jointly educate the industry” on NFC technologies as they relate to public transportation. Specifically, the organizations will together produce training courses and fund white papers, analyses of case studies, and research on the subject. APTA will in addition participate in the NFC Forum’s various Transport Special Interest Group workshops and governing bodies, and begin working independently toward settling upon a standard for ticketing and fare payment systems.

APTA is clearly bullish on NFC. “NFC will improve the passenger experience by linking passengers with mobile phones and public transit fare payment,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy in a statement, “and by increasing the opportunities to share digital content to improve the transit passenger convenience,”

That’s a good thing, because the United States lags far behind other countries in implementing contactless options for public transport. According to London government transit authority Transport for London, the London Underground and train stations in the U.K. handled 11.8 million contactless transactions alone last month. And of the world’s 10 busiest metro systems, only New York and Mexico City have yet to support NFC-enabled fare cards.

That’s not to say the situation isn’t improving. In San Francisco, both the city’s BART subway system and more than 30,800 parking meters support NFC ticketing. In 2014, Washington pledged $184 million to upgrade its transit system to accept NFC. And in March of 2015, Chicago’s CTA and Pace began accepting contactless credit and debit cards payments.

And Apple’s doing its part to spur adoption. Rumors persist that the company’s planning to expand access to the NFC chips found in the Apple Watch and newer iPhones to public transit apps.

“NFC technology has the power to transform public transport and the passenger experience,” said NFC Forum Chairman Koichi Tagawa in a press release. “NFC will not only streamline fare collection but also make transport operations more seamless, efficient, and responsive.”

Given the relative success of Apple Pay, that’s probably true. Apple’s mobile payments platform surpassed 1 million activations in the first 72 hours of its availability, and usage among first-time iPhone 6 and 6S owners grew to 16.6 percent last year according to market research group pymnts.com.

Mobile

How iOS 13 will eventually make your iPhone the only ID you need

In Apple’s iOS 13, the stage is being set for it to become the main form of personal identification you carry, due to the company opening up its NFC feature beyond simply Apple Pay.
Mobile

iOS 13 is here. Here's how to get it on your iPhone or iPod Touch

The iOS 13 public beta has been released, giving you a chance to try out iOS 13's new features. But how do you download Apple's latest software? Here's our guide on how to download the iOS 13 public beta.
Mobile

The iOS 13 public beta is here and you can download it now

Apple announced iOS 13 during the keynote presentation at its 2019 Worldwide Developer Conference. This is the next version of its mobile operating system, which will come to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod near you soon.
Computing

What is Libra? Here’s what you need to know about Facebook’s new cryptocurrency

Facebook released a white paper announcing its new cryptocurrency, Libra, which it intends as a way to enable more people around the world to process online payments. Here's how the new blockchain technology works.
Android

Samsung's Galaxy S10 5G is coming to T-Mobile on June 28

Samsung's Galaxy S10 5G is the flagship of the S10 line, and it's expensive at $1,300. But, it's the only one of Samsung's latest phones that can connect to a 5G network. It's available from Sprint and Verizon, and now T-Mobile.
Mobile

The best gardening apps help you watch your garden grow

It takes work, commitment, and smarts to cultivate a beautiful garden or grow your own food, so you need all the help you can get. The best gardening apps can identify plants and pests and assist with garden care and planting schedules.
Mobile

Here are 5 things I’d like to see in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10

It's important that smartphones continue to improve and evolve or they risk stagnation and may alienate potential buyers. Here are five changes and new features I'd like to see in Samsung's forthcoming Galaxy Note 10 smartphone.
Mobile

Here's how to download iPadOS on your favorite Apple tablet

Interested in getting the latest and greatest software on your iPad? If you want iPadOS, you'll need to be okay with using the public beta, which is likely to have bugs. Here's how to install iPadOS on your iPad.
News

FTC and authorities crack down on companies responsible for 1 billion robocalls

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and law enforcement officials announced a new crackdown against illegal robocalls on Tuesday, targeting companies responsible for over a billion of the annoying calls. 
News

U.S. tech firms continue sales to Huawei despite Trump administration ban

U.S. chipmakers -- Intel, Micron, and others -- have quietly continued doing business with Huawei despite a ban on American sales to the Chinese telecom giant imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department in May.
Deals

Amazon Prime Day 2019: Official start date, predictions, and the best deals now

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is going to be on July 15 and July 16. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what this massive 2-day event will entail.
Mobile

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 has smart card-equivalent security certification

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is Qualcomm's flagship processor for the year, and it's available in a range of smartphones. Now, the chip is certified with a smart card equivalent security rating.
Deals

Best smartphone deals for June 2019: iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and LG

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $900.
Mobile

Oppo’s exciting new tech hides the selfie camera under the phone screen

Oppo has revealed impressive new technology where it can hide the selfie camera on a smartphone beneath the display itself, taking its devices another step closer to providing an unspoiled and completely immersive viewing experience.