iPhone 5 rumors: MasterCard hints at NFC incorporation

The NFC is used in payment terminals and is precisely designed for use on mobile phones. The iPhone 5 could mark Apple’s entry in this specific segment.

Fast Company interviewed Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s head of emerging payments, sparking speculation on the technical specifications of the next iPhone.

McLaughlin said Apple was very interested in the integration of NFC technology in its next smartphone models, an allusion concerning especially the iPhone 5, which is entering production phase these days.

“The timeline is always as rapid as it makes sense for consumers,” McLaughlin said. “That’s a combination of having a critical mass of the merchants, which is what you’re seeing right now, and getting devices into the hands of consumers. I don’t know of a handset manufacturer that isn’t in process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready.”

Asked if Apple was one of these manufacturers, McLaughlin hesitated.

“Um, there are…like I say, [I don’t know of] any handset maker out there,” he said. “Now, when we have discussions with our partners, and they ask us not to disclose them, we don’t.”

Fast Company‘s Austin Carr chatted with Ed McLaughlin from MasterCard about when payments via mobile devices might become the norm.

In addition, tech site 9to5Mac discussed this issue with a “well-connected developer” currently working on designing an app compatible with NFC.

The developer, whose identity was not revealed, is cited as saying that Apple software engineers are “heavy into NFC.”

Asked what degree of confidence he gave to this information, the developer replied, “Enough to bet the app development on.”