Feeds

Leaked release shows Visa plotting NFC iPhone case

Oopsie

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Visa is planning an iPhone case with integrated NFC, according to an accidentally-posted press release that wasn't pulled fast enough.

The release was only online for moments, but long enough for NFC World to spot.

The announced case contains a secure element from DeviceFidelity, as well as NFC hardware, enabling users to pay with a wave of their 3G or 3GS iPhone. The system will be usable anywhere Visa's PayWave technology has been deployed.

NFC World reported on the release last night, and since then has been resisting calls from PR Newswire to take down the information which wasn't supposed to be shared just yet.

DeviceFidelity already makes a MicroSD NFC implementation, which the company reckons works in 120 models of handset. The problem with the rest is that many handsets sandwich the memory card between the battery and the motherboard, which makes it difficult to get the low-powered NFC signal out.

Some handsets have an externally-facing card slot, while others have thin batteries or non-contiguous motherboards, which help, but putting the tech into a case removes all those problems.

Very small NFC hardware

Radio, antenna and secure module, all built into a MicroSD card.

We don't know when the Visa-compatible case was supposed to be announced: Apple is expected to announce a new model of iPhone next month but there's no obvious connection between the two. Apple has considerable interest, and patents, in the application of Near Field Communications (NFC), but we'd be surprised to see the technology built into the next iPhone - though equally surprised not to see it in the model following that.

It's not the first time we've seen NFC clipped onto an iPhone, but the backing of Visa makes this a bigger deal. Visa announced in February that it would be trialling DeviceFidelity's MicroSD-card implementation, but iPhone owners are exactly the demographic that would enjoy whipping out their handset to pay for coffee, so it makes sense for Visa to ensure they're included.

We've said before that an NFC-equipped iPhone would be a really good idea, but that Apple would be reluctant to take the bold step needed. If Visa puts any weight behind this product then Apple will, no doubt, be watching carefully while planning its own NFC strategy.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE
Just need to bring the fibre box within 19m ...
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.