Apple in payment partnerships for iPhone NFC system: Reports

Summary:As the unveiling of the next iPhone draws near, reports have emerged that Apple has reached an agreement with at least three major credit card companies to work together on its new NFC payments system.

Apple has reached an agreement with American Express in a bid to implement a new digital wallet payments system, which is expected to let iPhone 6 users employ their phones in place of credit card payments, according to a report by ReCode's Jason Del Rey.

American Express is just one major credit card company that Apple would need to sign agreements with in order to launch its new payments system, the report said.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg's Matt Townsend said that Apple has signed agreements with Visa and MasterCard, in addition to the reported American Express deal. The new agreements are expected to be officially unveiled on September 9, along with the iPhone 6, according to Bloomberg's source.

Apple has been tight-lipped about the details of the next iPhone, and only late last week sent out media invitations confirming the previously rumoured September 9 event. The event is to be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Apple's home city of Cupertino, California — the venue where the Macintosh PC was originally unveiled in 1984.

The invite simply reads: "We wish we could say more."

It had previously been reported that the new iPhone would implement near-field communications (NFC) technology for mobile payments, bringing it up to speed with a number of Android and Windows smartphones.

Meanwhile, industry rumours suggest that the new iPhone will feature a larger, 4.7-inch display, with the possibility of a new second iPhone sporting a 5.5-inch screen, giving larger-screen smartphones by the likes of Samsung, LG, and Sony a run for their money on screen space.

Although Apple was recently granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a smartwatch device referred to as "iTime", it remains uncertain as to whether the company will reveal a wearable product along with the slated iPhone 6 announcement on September 9.

If it does, it would be introduced into a market that is already populated by the likes of Samsung, LG, and the crowd-funded Pebble.

In July, market analysis company Telsyte revealed research showing that Google's Android is overtaking Apple's iOS in Australia's total smartphone sales volume. However, if Apple's soon-to-be-released iPhone comes with a larger screen, it could win back market share for the company in the Australian market, according to Telsyte.

Topics: Apple, E-Commerce

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Leon covers enterprise technology and start-ups from ZDNet's Sydney newsroom.

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