Apple has included NFC chips on its phones since the iPhone 6 primarily for use with its mobile payments system, Apple Pay. Actually, that was pretty much their only purpose. No third-party apps could utilize the antenna for their own purposes such as scanning contact information, accessing hotel rooms or marking progress on tours.
However, with WWDC 2018 coming in a week, The Information reports that iOS 12 will finally allow developers to start exploiting NFC for their own purposes.
Android Pay is currently accepted for contactless payment on several public transit systems. It’s expected that this move will allow transport agencies to extend multi-ride or other special passes through Apple Pay.
This move was, perhaps, first hinted, when the Metropolitan Transportation Agency awarded a contract for a new fare system to Cubic Transportation Systems — that company is said to be presenting a demonstration during the conference’s keynote on June 4.
Cubic is working with agencies in New York, Boston and other regions to transfer away from proprietary cards and tickets to mobile-based systems. It already has systems active in Chicago and London. The company also vends NextBus, real-time vehicle tracking software.
iOS 12 is expected to debut with new iPhone releases in September.