Carey Kolaja for All Things D:
No retailer will have multiple NFC boxes to take payments from different networks, and the NFC terminals shipping today do little more than just transmit the card number and transaction size. They’re not equipped to automatically accept the complex coupons and offers that make the digital wallet so exciting. On the technology side, carriers are trying one solution, phone manufacturers another, and technology companies yet another. Meanwhile, the consumer is standing at the register thinking “really, how hard is it to pull out my credit card?” Why would Apple want to step into that mess?
Kolaja has a stake in this – she’s chief of operations for global products and experience at PayPal. But she outlines in extensive detail some of NFC’s shortcomings and challenges, and creates an elegant defense of Apple’s rationale to exclude NFC support from the iPhone 5.
She doesn’t dispute that “digital wallets” are an increasingly important part of 21st century commerce, but that’s an immediate need Apple is attempting to answer with “Passbook” in iOS 6.