Apple Might Open iPhone NFC Chip to Third-Party Apps

Apple Pay jetblue

In an interview with 01net (via AppleInsider), the CEO of France-based wireless player Orange, Stephane Richard, said the carrier’s proprietary mobile payments service Orange Cash will be available on the iPhone “in a few weeks,” leading to speculation that Apple might finally allow third-party apps and services to access the iPhone’s NFC chip.

While talking about Orange Cash, the carrier’s boss threw in the surprise news that after months of negotiations with Apple, the two parties had reached an agreement. “Apple has informed us that they are now ready to integrate our app, Orange Cash, on the iPhone, which is very good news,” the Orange CEO said. Orange Cash has nearly 100,000 users in France.

His comments immediately triggered speculation that Apple could finally open up access to the NFC chip embedded in the iPhone 6 and 6s models.

Orange Cash is currently available only for Android smartphones and requires a compatible (NFC-equipped) handset and an NFC SIM card for it to work.

Stephane Richard’s announcement comes almost a month after French blogs started reporting a possible launch of Apple Pay in the country by the end of the year.

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  • aaloo

    man, in canada, I want proper apple pay. not some stupid nfc payment system by a bank or carrier.

  • FragilityG4

    Why would Apple concede their royalties only a couple years into Apple Pay? Wasn’t the original AT&T deal (mobile plans) five years? I guess it’s possible they will set it up that if a third party access the NFC for payment there will be a cost to the transaction.

  • Mark Ritter

    I’m not sure how this article relevant to Canadians, as it’s about a payment system, owned by a carrier we don’t have?!
    Roger had a proprietary payment system with ICBC that didn’t really go well.

    In Canada, we need the Apple Pay … plain and simple.

  • It’s Me

    Orange Cash is a partnership between Orange and Visa. Basically, it is just a prepaid Visa account branded for Orange and Orange has an app for it that allows you to top up. All it would take for Apple to allow this is nothing. It’s a Visa and iPhone already works with Visa. I am guessing it will just be like any other Visa added to Wallet and there will an Orange app that can top up your account through in-app Apple Pay.

  • LouisDC

    NFC can be used for other things than just credit card payments. It’s a short-distance data transfer protocol that could be used by 3rd-party apps to transfer contact information, images, or other information.

  • Mark Ritter

    Your statement holds true in the Android world, however for iOS, it’s not.
    NFC is used exclusively for Apple Pay, and I’m still questioning the validity of such article which discusses an alternative payment method by a French carrier.

  • Tim

    If it could replace my metro card that would be great