Industry News

New Apple iOS 11 could offer NFC ticket support

Apple could add ticketing support to its NFC features when its new iOS 11 operating system is introduced later this year.

A new ‘Core NFC’ framework could expand near-field communication (NFC) features for iPhone and iPad devices beyond just payments when iOS is unveiled in the autumn.

NFC is currently used on the iPhone solely to transmit payment requests between a mobile device and a card reader.

However, an Apple documentation webpage for the beta version of iOS 11 suggests that the new Core NFC framework could let third-party developers make greater use of NFC capability.

It is suggested new apps and services could be created, with the NFC chip able to support transit passes or workplace keycards.

As the Verge website reports: “You could imagine Apple releasing a general-purpose app, or build new features into the existing Wallet app, that let you manage NFC data exchanges as if they were just like airline boarding passes, movie tickets, or coupons.”

New opportunities

The iOS 11 system will also create new opportunities for companies that want to connect with smartphone users, which could be of interest for venues who welcome large numbers of people for events.

The documentation page said: “For example, your app might give users information about products they find in a store or exhibits they visit in a museum.”

Adam Baily, the head of payment technology at supermarket giant Sainsbury’s, recently said that mobile payment companies must present a more united front and prove themselves indispensable if they are to have a stronger relationship with operators, retailers and the public.

He said that he believes those offering products – such as shops or ticket agents – are concerned they could potentially lose valuable customer data by encouraging the use of mobile wallets.

He said: “Someone needs to take responsibility for the state of play in the payments industry right now and I think it is time the merchants consider this seriously and got together as a consortium.”

Image: Kārlis Dambrāns

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