The NFC chip inside iPhones is going to get a lot more useful once iOS 13 lands. Apple is opening up the NFC chip to developers on a per-app basis with iOS 13 which has led governments to apps and systems to add iPhone support. The latest one to join the list is Hong King’s Octopus payment system.
While there has been no official announcement from any Hong Kong body regarding this, Ata Distance has found snippets of code in Apple Pay in iOS 13 beta which hints at impending support for Octopus cards in Hong Kong.
While iOS 13 is going to be available for iPhone 6s and up, the new NFC-related functionalities are only going to be available on the iPhone 7 and newer.
Octopus cards are extremely popular in Hong Kong and are used by people for any kind of retail transaction or for public transport payments. It is based on the same FeliCa standard that is used by Japan’s Suica card.
The U.K. and the Japan government have already confirmed that post iOS 13, iPhones will be able to read NFC tags in Japanese and British passports. Similarly, the German government has also confirmed that iPhones running iOS 13 will be able to read all German ID cards including residence permits, biometric passports, and more.[Via Ata Distance]