Analysis: Apple Apparently Sees Need for Additional Pairing Technology with Support for NFC Tag Reading

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight ­– Nearly three years after embracing NFC technology for mobile payments but declining to support NFC’s tag-reading mode, Apple, in a surprise move, is adding tag-reading support to its NFC-enabled devices, including the iPhone 7 series and forthcoming iPhone 8, as well as its Apple Watch.

The tag-reading support–which is part of Apple's new iOS 11 mobile operating system and apparently watchOS–opens up new uses for the iPhone and Apple Watch, among possibly other devices, including tapping to more quickly pair and share data among devices, and to read contactless cards.

The latter could enable users, for example, to read their transit cards by tapping them on their iPhones and then to top up the cards with Apple Pay, probably by loading value to the server of the fare collection company, which would then load the card with value the next time the user taps a terminal at a subway station or on board a bus. 

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