The iPhone 6 Apple Pay system will be coming to several retailers and restaurant chains and Apple is working with major credit card companies to make this all happen. In the meantime, Apple is being heralded as the catalyst that will drive NFC payments into the mainstream and that could very well happen, given Apple’s track record of pushing new technology trends. But we’re finding out that the iPhone 6 Apple Pay system comes with one slight twist. The NFC technology that will be in the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be locked down for use with Apple Pay only.
An Apple spokesperson confirmed the lock down of the technology, saying developers would be restricted from utilizing its NFC chip functionality for at least a year. Apple declined to comment on whether NFC capability would remain off limits beyond that period.
This means that Google Wallet, Softcard, or any other type of NFC payments will not work on the iPhone. iPhone users will need to make sure the NFC terminals they use are setup for Apple Pay, otherwise it just won’t work. iPhones also won’t be able to take advantage of the other benefits of NFC, such as file transfer, pairing with a Bluetooth speaker, NFC tags, etc. This comes as a major disappointment to some who were hoping for a wider adoption of NFC mobile payments. While NFC mobile payments isn’t a new technology, the Google Nexus 4 had this ability a few years ago, this is the first time the spotlight has been shone on it at this level. Adoption might increase more quickly if Apple were to allow 3rd party developers for existing mobile payments – i.e. Google, Softcard, etc. – to access the NFC chip in the newest iPhones. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.