Bloomberg reports that Apple’s next generation iPhone and iPad will include NFC functionality. NFC stands for near-field-communication and this technology would allow users to utilize their iPhone 5 or iPad 2 as debit cards to make payments. The technology works at a distance to up to four inches, and is controlled within the phone and with an external NFC tag on each respective item or payment center.

The report’s sources for this information are “engineers who are working on hardware for the Apple project.” Apple will supposedly introduce the new NFC-capable devices alongside a new mobile payments service. Whenever a user processes a transaction through Apple’s iTunes, credit card fees are payed by Apple, but with new NFC functionality at their side, Apple is looking to create a new service that will be more economical for them as a company.

The main goal for Apple would be to get a piece of the $6.2 trillion Americans spend each year on goods and services, Crone said. Today, the company pays credit-card processing fees on every purchase from iTunes. By encouraging consumers to use cheaper methods — such as tapping their bank accounts directly, which is how many purchases are made via PayPal — Apple could cut its own costs and those of retailers selling Apple products.

This new service would call for an iTunes “revamp” so the service would not only store the usual credit/debit card information but “loyalty credits and points” too. These new points and credits would essentially be bonuses users receive for referring their friends to certain places and to make certain purchases. We strongly feel that Apple could successfully enter this emerging NFC market and take the technology to new heights.

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