Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is aggressively developing near-field communication (NFC) mobile services. Near-field communications is a technology that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been working on with Android phones for quite some time now. New Android devices will come equipped with NFC services bundled in. It is rumored that the iPhone 5 will have NFC bundled upon its release as well.
This past April, Apple hired Benjamin Vigier as the product manager for mobile commerce who has 4 years of NFC experience. It is likely that he is heading Apple’s NFC initiatives. Near-field communications allows people to beam and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches. This includes paying for goods at stores and paying for restaurant bills.
An advantage that Apple has is that many people have already provided the company with their credit card numbers and bank account information through iTunes. Apple would not have to make the consumer do much to pay for goods and sign up for the NFC service. If Apple can get consumers to use NFC through their iOS devices, then they would get a piece of the $6.2 trillion market of goods and services spent in the U.S. every year.
Apple would also benefit from consumers buying their products using NFC connected to bank accounts. This is because Apple would pay less commission to credit card companies. Every time someone buys an Apple product or application using a credit card, Apple has to give a commission to the credit card companies.