Feeds

Leaked release shows Visa plotting NFC iPhone case

Oopsie

The essential guide to IT transformation

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.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.