For over a year, Australia's largest banks have been engaged in a quiet war with Apple. Their goal is to force the world's largest technology company to open access to the iPhone's NFC chip and allow collective bargaining over Apple Pay. Apple is fighting back, of course, and the next few weeks and months will determine the future of mobile payments in Australia.
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Inside your smartphone, hidden underneath the sticky plastic wrapping of the battery, or glued to the removable rear cover, there's a secret, ominous-looking wireless chip. It's not controlled by the FBI or the government or the Illuminati, though, and it's not tracking every search you make online — it's just NFC.
Apple Pay, and other mobile payment services like it, all share a similar vision of the future, one where people can leave their home with nothing but a smartphone and an ID, and still buy absolutely whatever they want. That dream is a little closer to reality now that USA Technologies brings NFC payments to some 200,000 vending machines, parking meters and laundry equipment, some of the last bastions of cash.
For years, tech companies like Google and Softcard (formerly known as ISIS) begged with consumers to adopt its NFC-powered payment platform, and for the most part, their pleas went largely unheard. Now that Apple Pay has graced millions of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users with NFC purchasing powers (across the US, at least), things are beginning to change. And really, everyone is a winner.
The Poynt Smart Terminal is like a one-size-fits-all payments system. It has an NFC antenna, a magnetic swipe reader, a Bluetooth antenna, a QR code reader, a printer for receipts, and even an Android tablet to boot. So not matter how the future of payments pans out, you'll be able to get your dang cup of coffee.
Earlier this week, we walked you through the stridently awful Apple Pay alternative being cooked up by some US retailers. It is dumb and bad, but as a recent New York Times report indicates, it's also not going anywhere any time soon. But not because anyone necessarily wants it.
It may have taken Apple a few years to finally adopt NFC on its smartphones, but now that it's here, the company is running with it. Apple's NFC-powered payment system, Apple Pay, officially launched a week ago today, and a new report from The Information says more NFC abilities may be coming.
Apple Pay is set to launch on October 20. So if you have an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, and you're in the US, you'll be able to pay for some of your shopping on your phone as soon as next week.
My wife loves technology. Hell, she spotted the job posting that landed me my first tech writing gig. She also loves sharing snapshots with friends. So when I told her that the Sony RX100 III could sling amazing selfies to Instagram with a tap of her phone, she was understandably stoked. When we packed our bags for a week-long holiday to Maui, it was the only dedicated camera we took along.