Apple’s iPhone 6 NFC Mobile Payments Said to Utilize Tokenization Technology

Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 models and smart watch has widely been reported to implement NFC for mobile payments. According to the latest details, as reported by Bank Innovation, unnamed sources tell the site Apple will utilize tokenization technology in its payment solution, seen as a safer way to implement credit card and debit card credentials:

Apple will be utilizing near field communication (NFC) technology and tokenization technology in the new iPhone 6 and iWatch as a part of its payments initiative, according to sources close to Apple and with knowledge of Apple’s plans for its new smartphone.

In addition, Bank Innovation has uncovered Apple patents dating back to 2009 related to the tokenization process, confirming the company’s long-standing interest in tokenization.

Tokenization replaces traditional account numbers found on the front of credit and debit cards, and turns them into complex codes that can be transmitted wirelessly between devices, with codes only being allowed to be used one time. Therefore, if a code is intercepted by a fraudster it will be useless.

“[Tokenization] certainly addresses security and fraud…there’s another part of the story — tokens provide innovators with flexible, purposed, and driven credentials in their customers’ experiences instead of actual data,” said Visa’s vice president of digital solutions, Brad Greene. “If tokens are intercepted by an attacker… [they] would be worthless or greatly diminish.”

Sources tell the site tokenization will be stored on actual devices themselves (instead of being stored in the cloud with typical Host Card Emulation or HCE methods), taking advantage of Apple’s hardware and software integration for mobile payments.

Bank Innovation says they have confirmed Apple retail locations currently support NFC, as the Verifone MX 915 terminals were present, which supports wireless payments (these are different from mobile POS terminals). Other retailers such as Bloomingdale’s also had the MX 915 in stores as well.

Apple’s mobile payments solution will most likely utilize a combination of technologies, such as tokenization, along with Touch ID to further enhance security of transactions. As one source put it: “It’s very Apple-like to use some new combination of these existing technologies.”

Earlier, the site reported Apple was said to have negotiated lower fees with banks for mobile payments and that a partnership was also reached with Nordstrom to implement the solution.

Apple has reportedly reached deals with Visa, MasterCard and American Express for its mobile payment solution, which will utilize NFC hardware from Dutch chipmaker NXP.

Apple’s media event takes place on Tuesday at 10AM PST/1PM EDT, and will be streamed live on the web. It’s almost time, folks.



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