#bluetooth le

Ian Kar:

According to Noyes, while banks control the card-present/not-present rates,  the networks negotiate the rates with payments processors. The differences can be dramatic. Apple was apparently adamant about getting the card-present rates and told issuers that it would assume some of the fraud risk inherent in every transaction by providing a secure element via biometric authentication (its TouchID feature) and location data provided through an NFC chip. The Apple payments platform will work with all of their cards.

Banks offered the discounted fee for two reasons: for the Apple payments platform to accept all of the cards from the issuers, and for Apple to assume some of the liability by including two secure elements that will authenticate transactions — location data via the NFC chip, and biometric security. This is essentially a wash for the financial services industry: they lowered fees for Apple for the privilege of being included in Apple’s payments initiative, but managed to put some of the transaction risk to Apple.

If all of this is true, it’s potentially massive. And it may speak to why Apple may have finally greenlit the use of NFC technology in their products, even though they could have presumably done everything they wanted with the already-implemented Bluetooth LE tech.

Kelly Hodgkins:

According to Morgan Stanley, Apple is choosing NFC as the key technology for its mobile payments system, with semiconductor company NXP likely providing the necessary wireless hardware. NXP has an existing relationship with Apple, supplying the M7 motion-sensing chip found in the iPhone 5s.

Is this the fifth straight or six straight year that Apple has been said to be including NFC in the forthcoming iPhone? I’ve lost count. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually, but it’s especially hard to take this seriously. Also, Apple is clearly wed to Bluetooth LE. Do they want another chip in the ever-slimming and power-efficient phone?

Steve Cheney: 

NFC is dead—that’s not the interesting part though, it’s how Apple was able to replicate NFC functionality with Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi (they’re also using GPS like Bump did for authentication) and how they standardized all of this into iBeacon in iOS7. While supporting it all backward compatibly to iPhone 4S. A two year old phone upgraded with iOS7 will just work…  Bluetooth has arrived – it’s been around forever, but up to now it’s been crappy. Bluetooth LE (also called Bluetooth Smart) changes everything. Connections, pairing, device management etc will finally work 100% of the time, and Bluetooth will be a completely bulletproof, consumer ready, industry leading technology. There will truly be a radio in everything around us and it’s going to enable incredible experiences in mobile. Apple’s iWatch will work so well with your iPhone out of the gate when it’s launched you will be blown away.

Good insights by Cheney. There’s an interesting groundswell around Bluetooth LE happening at the moment. (Though I will say, this is a pretty smart use for NFC — of course, it seems like this could be done with Bluetooth LE as well.)