NFC Forum hints at the future of Apple Pay with support for multiple transactions in one tap

Apple Pay on an iPhone
(Image credit: Banco Promerica / Future)

Arguably one of the most useful iPhone features is Apple Pay. The ability to pay in-store and online from the best iPhone means that you can often leave your wallet behind. There are plenty of alternatives on other devices as well, but Apple Pay is by far the most popular. And the tap-to-pay feature is about to get even better.

The NFC Forum, those behind-the-scenes of NFC tech, have just given us a glimpse into the future of Apple Pay with the latest addition to mobile payments: NFC Multi-Purpose Tap.

Imagine you're at your favourite retailer, you tap to pay with Apple Pay as usual, but instead of just a simple transaction, a multiple actions happen all at once. Your loyalty points get updated, your receipt is sent directly to your phone, and perhaps you even get a cheeky discount from a voucher, all from that single tap.

Is this the next version of Apple Pay?

This Multi-Purpose Tap isn't just about adding a few extra perks to your payment process. The NFC Forum is envisioning a world where every tap is a multi-faceted interaction. Think about buying a train ticket and automatically getting the best fare with your Railcard, and concessions applied without any extra hassle.

The NFC Forum's push for this tech involves rallying the whole chain – payment acceptors, terminal manufacturers, loyalty schemes, ticketing providers, and so on. They're all being called to contribute to the development of this Multi-Purpose Tap. The idea is to ensure that when this rolls out, it's not just a fancy gimmick but a universally adopted standard that enhances the user experience across the board.

For Apple Pay users, this means the iPhone feature will likely integrate these capabilities, making it even more indispensable. Apple will likely wait until payment acceptors, terminal manufacturers, and the rest start using the tech. That's so that there's already a system for you to use in place, instead of Apple being an early adopter. So you might have a while to wait. But, keep your eyes peeled, and your NFC-enabled iPhone ready.

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Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.