Apple is looking to significantly improve near field communication (NFC) on the iPhone as part of the upcoming iOS 13 update.
Currently, NFC on iPhone is primarily used to support Apple Pay, a form contactless payment. In iOS 13, Apple will expand NFC capabilities on iPhone to offer better support for transit, passport and other card-based systems that are used around the world.
So far, NFC support for Japanese and British passports have been confirmed. It’s currently unclear if Canadian passports will be supported as well.
Further, Apple says it will support special stickers and tags that enable NFC transactions without a terminal or special app from the vendor. So far, U.S. businesses like Bird (scooters), Bonobos (a retailer) and PayByPhone (parking metres) have announced iOS support for these NFC markers.
Overall, Apple says it’s looking to improve retail and travel applications through increased NFC support. More information on changes coming to NFC on iOS can be found in Apple’s official presentation at the recent Worldwide Developers Conference.