Apple to offer iPhone with FeliCa NFC payments in Japan

Apple is planning to launch an iPhone in Japan equipped with Sony FeliCa NFC technology to allow owners to make payments for travel and other services.

Apple The company is intending to work with “multiple transit card providers” to enable the service, including the Suica and Pasmo networks, Bloomberg reports.

“The FeliCa chip will let customers in Japan store their public bus and train passes on their iPhones,” the publication says. “Users would then be able to tap their phones against the entrance scanners instead of using physical cards. Theoretically, virtual representations of the transit passes would be stored in the iPhone’s wallet application.

“Apple has planned to launch these new features with the next iPhone models, which the company is set to unveil in September. However, the company could hold back the transit card feature to next year’s model if discussions with the Japan-based payment networks fall apart.”

Apple may also be removing the home button that houses its Touch ID fingerprint authentication technology as part of significant changes to the popular handsets.

“Apple is already at work on a major redesign of the iPhone for 2017 that focuses more heavily on the display,” Bloomberg says.

Joint venture

FeliCa Networks, the joint venture between Sony and Japanese carrier NTT Docomo, has been working for several years to deliver mobile phone chipsets that support both its highly successful FeliCa-based Osaifu-Keitai mobile wallet service and international NFC payments services. In 2012, the company partnered with Samsung and NXP to develop solutions allowing phones to work with both EMV services and Osaifu-Keitai.

Whether the new device will support both Apple Pay and FeliCa is not yet known but more details may be unveiled at Apple’s annual iPhone event on 7 September.

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2 comments on this article

  1. If they make this model of the iPhone with FeliCa, it should not just be available in Japan but also make it standard on all new iPhones including cities supporting FeliCa such as Hong Kong. Then Apple can work with Octopus Holdings Ltd to allow Octopus cardholders to add their Octopus card to Apple Pay to pay for transit rides, groceries, restaurant bills, and more.

  2. Apple BLOCKING the NFC protocol so only they could use it in the iPhone, lying about “security breaching” while the truth is the opposite, Apple keeping the open protocol to themselves is hurting security.

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