Loyalty and membership reward cards could find a digital home on the iPhone 6 if speculations that Apple will be announcing a new NFC-based digital wallet hold true. In addition to rumors of Apple working with banks, credit card issuers, merchants, and retailers, Apple may also be working on expanding loyalty and reward cards in the new digital wallet, which could allow iPhone 6 owners to replace their physical wallets.
According to a report, global hotel group IHG International may be a key partner. Currently, in Apple's Passbook application on the iPhone, users are able to store select loyalty and membership cards from SPG, AAA, and Walgreens. These cards are accessible to merchant systems via a bar code, rather than a tap-to-pay NFC method. The NFC method could make it easier, though it would require new hardware.
According to Bank Innovation, the new NFC-based loyalty card wallet would be tied into iTunes, and Apple has shown that it is looking to hire a marketing manager to handle loyalty programs, though the job description cited was vague.
Various competing digital wallets have already begun integrating loyalty and membership cards, including the competing Google Wallet, which also relies on NFC for payment on select Android phone models.
Do you think Apple could ignite the NFC payment market? Tune into iMore tomorrow as we'll be covering Apple's iPhone 6 announcement live.
Source: Bank Innovation
Master your iPhone in minutes
iMore offers spot-on advice and guidance from our team of experts, with decades of Apple device experience to lean on. Learn more with iMore!