Paying for your groceries and yoga pants with Apple Pay is convenient, but it’s far from the tech giant’s end ambitions. Ever since Apple announced its NFC (near-field communication) capabilities in 2014, the technology has remained fairly limited in scope.
Now, The Information reports that sources from inside Apple are saying the company is planning to expand the use of NFC in the next month, bringing it to other secure wireless interactions like unlocking doors and paying for mass transit.
NFC allows devices within close proximity to seamlessly and instantly transfer data without the use of wifi. So far this capability has mostly meant that you might get a coupon for the store you’re browsing in real-time or you can pay for your coffee by tapping your phone to the payment system.
This update to the NFC chip will reportedly expand the iPhone’s NFC applications, paving the way for standardization down the road. It’s safe to assume that eventually your phone or your smart watch will become your universal key to the most secure transactions in your life.