In a recent teardown of the iPad Air 2, it was discovered that the tablet came with an NFC chip, but oddly enough despite sporting an NFC chip, it did not allow users to make payments via NFC using Apple Pay. It was then speculated that the chips could be used to allow iPads to receive Apple Pay, but then it was pointed out that the lack of antennas meant that it couldn’t.
So what is the NFC chip used for? Well for those who are wondering why Apple might have included the NFC chip if they didn’t plan on using it for commercial applications, the folks at 9to5Mac have learnt from their sources that a possible use for the NFC chip could be for a Secure Element for Apple Pay’s in-app purchases.
Secure Element is not a secret as Apple has publicly talked about the feature on its website. According to its description, “With Apple Pay, instead of using your actual credit and debit card numbers when you add your card to Passbook, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted, and securely stored in the Secure Element, a dedicated chip in iPhone. These numbers are never stored on Apple servers.”
So basically the NFC chip is used to safely store your payment details, so in the event that Apple’s servers are hacked, the hackers won’t be able to access your credit/debit card details as it won’t be stored there. We’re sure many appreciate the added security, but would you have preferred if the iPad could be used to make contactless payment?
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