Prominent iOS developer @Chronic seems to indicate in a series of tweets this morning that there is indeed NFC hardware in the iPhone 5 (or at least prototypes), but it perhaps is not set up to be used for payment systems.

The tweets seems to fall along the same lines as what we had heard earlier about prototypes. However, Jim Dalrymple from the Loop disputed claims of NFC hardware, perhaps to temper expectations.

Just as a note: The iPhone had the capability to use FM RX/TX radio for years, but Apple decided not to enable it for listening to radio stations or even broadcasting to your car stereo for whatever reason. This could be a similar situation.

We will not know for sure until the iPhone is torn down later this month.