Apple reportedly planning to add FeliCa chip support in a future iPhone for Japanese customers

Apple is planning a new iPhone feature for Japan that will allow users to pay for mass-transit rides with their smartphones instead of physical payment cards, according to Bloomberg, quoting unnamed “people familiar with the matter.”

The article says that an upcoming iPhone will include technology called FeliCa, a mobile tap-to-pay standard in Japan developed by Sony. However, Bloomberg doesn’t say when the tech will be included in an Apple smartphone.

The FeliCa chip reportedly allow customers in Japan to 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.

An IC chip and antenna are embedded in each FeliCa card, enabling each transaction to be completed in approximately 0.1 sec, simply by holding the card over a compatible reader/writer. As it is contactless, users can enjoy the ease of using the card without having to remove it from a wallet or purse, according to Sony.

Functions in the card equivalent to files and folders allow a single card to offer multiple services. An employee ID card can also be used as an access card for office entrance as well as PC login. It can even be used as an e-money card for payment.