According to Bloomberg, Apple is planning to introduce services allowing iPad and iPhone owners to make purchases by waving their iDevice in front of a scanner. This Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology is and embedded chip allowing Apple's service to tap user information already on file, including credit card information.
I've been waiting for 10 years to be able to use my phones as a wallet. There are some workarounds using barcodes like Starbucks or dongles, with an NFC embedded... the payment would just happen wirelessly and automatically once approved. NFC hasn't worked up until now mainly due to lack of consumer adaptation, once this happens then merchants will start accepting it.
Apple has hired many NFC experts in recent history, and it holds patents surrounding this technology. Hopefully it will arrive in the iPad 2 and iPhone 5!
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