iPhone 5′s Biggest Frustration: ‘Lack of NFC Chip for Mobile Payments’

Jay Decenella, IT audit expert
September 17, 2012 /

Much to the disappointment of mobile payment proponents, Apple’s iPhone 5 has completely trashed the inclusion of near field communications (NFC) chip that would have turned the device into a digital wallet.

Tudor Aw, KPMG’s European Head of Technology, described the latest generation of the device as rather “iterative development” than a “revolutionary” one.

“Most of the evolutionary new features such as faster speeds, better camera, bigger screen and new docking cable were widely anticipated and will be welcomed by customers,” Aw said.

But he noted that the “biggest surprise and disappointment” with iPhone 5 is the lack of an NFC chip that would enable mobile payments.

NFC is a built-in technology in some smartphones and cash-registers, allowing radio communication between two devices in short distance.

A month before the launch of the new iPhone, a Japanese blogger claimed in a set of photos that a square feature near the top of the front panel seemed to be related to NFC capabilities. The square part is actually the speaker.

Apple itself discredited such claim when it launched last week the new generation device. The iPhone 5 has no NFC chip.

Aw said: “It had been hoped that Apple would turn its famous ability to deliver new technology through great user experience to kick-start the widespread adoption of mobile payments by consumers. The interesting question is whether this omission will mean further delay in mobile payments taking off or if it presents an opportunity for its competitors to take a lead in this field.”

The NFC technology is currently featured on Android-based smartphones, and other platforms competing the iPhone.


1 Comment for “iPhone 5′s Biggest Frustration: ‘Lack of NFC Chip for Mobile Payments’”

  1. It was a but disappointing to hear of the lack of NFC chip on the new iPhone. I’m not an iPhone user but I think it would have helped in making NFC more mainstream. In my business, I have encountered only a handful who had NFC-enabled phones and even they preferred to use their cards for paying. I would like to get a NFC-enabled POS someday when NFC technology becomes more mainstream for now I am quite happy with my mPowa (www.mpowa,com) mobile card reader.

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