Apple’s big iPhone 6 unveiling this week is widely expected to include the tech giant’s formal entry into mobile payments with so-called “near field communication”, or NFC, to transmit payment data from the smartphone to a store’s checkout system.
Media reports say that the nation’s two largest pharmacy chains will adopt their counter-checkouts to accept Apple’s NFC-driven, credit or debit card payments.
Details of Apple’s mobile payment’s platform are to be announced Tuesday. With more than 15,000 locations combined, CVS and Walgreens should give Apple a huge headstart on competitors, if all of their stores are involved.
The two pharmacy giants could generate regular, repeat transactions since many consumers shop at either drug stores on a weekly or more frequent basis.
Apple is also expected to announce a new wearable computing device, the so-called iWatch or iBand, on Sept. 9. The wrist wearable gadget reportedly will also have NFC and could also be used for payments, according to Brian X. Chen of The New York Times.
NFC could be used to pair the iWatch with your iPhone, increasing the likelihood that Apple’s mobile payments system will catch on.