Sources close to Apple claim the company is finally ready to bring near-field communication, or NFC, to its next iPhone.
That's according to a report by Wired Thursday morning. The tech will allegedly be unveiled alongside Apple's new iPhone 6 and "will be one of the hallmark features of the device."
On top of that, sources also say — in true Apple fashion — the NFC payment system will be exclusively designed for its iOS devices.
Further details were not disclosed, but tech sources were poring over the long-awaited feature.
For years the mobile payment market has been dominated by startups like Square, Google Wallet, Visa and recently Amazon. Apple has poked its head in with apps like Passbook, but industry watchers say it never deepened its relationship with how consumers spend money with something like NFC. (Video via Square, Apple)
Reports from Wired to Gizmodo agree now is the right time for Apple.
Why? Apple's customers have already harbored their credit cards on iTunes — 800 million of them, in fact, according to Forbes. And let's not forget a good portion of them are carrying iDevices that could work with the payment system too.
"Hey, what'd you just do?"
"Uh, just sent him a playlist."
"By touching phones?"
But if it is true, and Apple is preparing mobile payments for its next iDevice, ZDNet just wants Apple to do NFC "right."
"What's unclear is whether anyone will actually use [NFC]. Samsung talks about beaming docs and files with NFC, but few of us actually do it in the wild. An informal poll around the office found many of us have NFC turned off."
One idea that could give Apple's mobile payment system legs is iBeacons. In May at Apple's WWDC event, presenters quietly touched on the system, which uses Bluetooth transmitters to send and receive data from a user's iOS 7 device. Retailers could use the iBeacons to send discounts or personally tailored features to shoppers who come in the store. (Video via Apple)
Wired noted iBeacons, as well as Apple's Touch ID technology, could be part of Apple's mobile payment ecosystem. We'll know more at Apple's event Sept. 9.
The video contains images from Getty Images.