The Information is reporting that Apple is actively scouting out partnerships to increase the utility of the NFC chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Right now, the chip can only be used for payments through Apple Pay as the API is not available to third-party developers.
The Information says that the company is talking to potential partners about using the technology for things like building security, public transit tickets and more. The report names that Apple has already been in talks with HID Global and Cubic, who make electronic ‘keycard’ secure building access and transit fare systems.
The Apple representatives have talked to technology providers like HID Global and Cubic, which enable secure access to buildings and transit fare systems, respectively, said people briefed on the discussions. Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment about any discussions with Apple, but executives there discussed how they could integrate their systems with the iPhone.
In fact, Apple has already announced a similar partnership with Starwood Hotels, where Apple users can replace hotel keycards with their Apple Watch, although this uses Bluetooth rather than NFC technology.
Naturally, none of the companies wanted to speak on record about the discussions. However, it is not difficult to see how the iPhone could replace transit tickets used on the BART trains. Information could be safely stored in the Secure Element where credit card data is stored today.
Apple is already facing some backlash in the payments department by merchants, but this report shows that the company is undeterred in making the iPhone an even bigger part of everyday life.