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The Apple iWatch could support NFC payments

According to a combination of rumors and circumstantial evidence provided by following Apple’s trends in acquiring technologies and patents, this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, which opens officially today, could see the unveiling of technology bound to revolutionize the way we pay at checkout counters across the globe.

Up until now, the big problem with credit cards is that they are easy to steal and clone. They are a physical, tangible and very portable connection to our bank accounts and credit standing.

Apple has been planning to use NFC technology, yet, up until now, everyone has been wondering just “on what??”. NFC has been available nearly everywhere, except on Apple’s flagship product: the iPhone.

Now, as speculations abound and hearsay dominates the newswires, theories are being formulated that could prove accurate, and if they do: everything could change.

If indeed the Apple iWatch turns out to have a near field communication chip, the landscape of point of sale credit card payments is about to change, even more so if the iWatch indeed is able to function as a stand-alone device, as opposed to a paired one, like nearly every other smartwatch on the market.

This could allow for checkout payments to be carried out through a securely wrist-bound iWatch, instead of having to fish into an overstuffed wallet, or purse for a plastic slate, with nothing more than a magnetic strip left between a pickpocket and your bank account.

The only information we are sure about at this point is that whichever payment gateway Apple will be using to securely carry financial transactions, will not be called “iWallet”.

If indeed that is the case, we might be looking at a future where credit cards will have to switch to a 100% software form, which is not exactly a bad thing, as this could mean cutting manufacturing costs for plastic cards, as well as retiring traditional card swipe readers. The benefits in terms of increased security of financial data would be staggering, not to mention Apple’s potentially astronomical profits.

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