Apple Adds EMV Features to its In-Store m-POS System (May 13, 2014)
Apple Inc. is joining the push to accommodate EMV cards in its stores with its EasyPay m-POS, which uses a special iPhone case made by VeriFone that employees may use for customer checkout. The case features a PIN pad to handle EMV chip-and-PIN transactions, as well as a specific area observers say looks as if it’s designed to support contactless NFC payments in the future. Apple has 424 retail stores in 16 countries.
A growing number of merchants, including Walmart and Target, are prepping payment terminals for the U.S. shift to EMV, as the card networks’ October 2015 liability-shift date for counterfeit card fraud at the POS nears. Less than 10 percent of U.S. consumers have EMV cards, but that number is expected to rise sharply over the next 18 months.
The move has caused observers to wonder whether Apple—which has famously failed to include NFC capabilities in any of its handsets to date—is changing its tune. The recent rise of host card emulation technology (HCE) is prompting many payments industry players to reconsider NFC’s potential. Even David Marcus, PayPal’s president who previously declared NFC a dead end, is warming up to its possibilities via the HCE approach to storing card credentials in the cloud, rather than in the handset itself.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo last week predicted in a note to investors that Apple this year is likely to build NFC into its iWatch and iPhone devices. Apple already uses the iBeacon Bluetooth-based approach to enabling contactless in-store purchases at some of its locations, and NFC could complement and enhance checkout options. Apple’s Touch ID, the fingerprint-based authentication module it rolled out last year, is yet another feature that eventually could play into Apple’s m-POS offerings, observers say.
See related stories: