According to a Bloomberg article by Mark Gurman and Gareth Allan, Apple is in talks with groups in Japan to finalize a deal that will allow travellers in Japan to store their train passed on their iPhones via an integration with the Apple wallet app.
From the article:
Apple Inc. is planning a new iPhone feature for Japan that will enable users to pay for mass-transit rides with their smartphones instead of physical payment cards. A future iPhone will include technology called FeliCa, a mobile tap-to-pay standard in Japan developed by Sony Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.
The FeliCa chip will let customers in Japan store their public bus and train passes on their iPhones. Users would then be able to tap their phones against the entrance scanners instead of using physical cards. While the FeliCa chip is the standard technology underlying the service, there are several different providers of transit payment cards based on the type of transit and areas within Japan.
Sounds great, right?! So when does it come out?
Apple has planned to launch these new features with the next iPhone models, which the company is set to unveil in September, according to people familiar with the matter. However, the company could hold back the transit card feature to next year’s model if discussions with the Japan-based payment networks fall apart, one person said.
Not sure that this feature alone would cause me to go in on a new iPhone, but it will be something great to look forward to when I do upgrade.