back to article Vodafone pay-by-bonk launch may signal iPhone 6 NFC plans

Vodafone has announced that its SmartPass technology will work with TfL’s systems when the London Underground starts accepting mobile pay-by-bonk on 16 September – but bigger things are planned. The existing SmartPass platform uses a system where a phone apes a contactless credit card. It’s tied to the customers’ card and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Im on my third samsung that would support this, but I have to wait for apple to bring it to market years late for my bank to play ball? FFS! Least it might maybe work soon, or not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ditto, albeit with a different brand, and (dare I say it), operating system.

      1. The Original Steve


        Same - in everyway!

    2. Russell Hancock

      Same here (sorta)

      I am in the same place - i have had NFC for ~2 1/2 years now (HTC One X) and have not once found anything useful to do with the NFC on it - i have played with it many times - reading the contents of pre-pay electric meter cards, testing what is on some hotel key cards, etc but not once found a way to actually use it on a day to day basis - this would include:

      1) Pay for something (anything) in a shop

      2) Use it in place of oyster card

      3) Use it as key card for hotel rooms (some are NFC based...)

      4) Use it to unlock computer / server room / cabinets / piggy bank!

      5) Loyalty card at Cafe / Supermarket / other places

      Please people - get this technology to work so i can just carry my phone and ditch the wallet!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Same here (sorta)

        Sadly plebs in charge of many of these companies still are iPhone obsessed, and until iPhone does it, it doesn't matter. (sadly the 85% markershare to Android seemingly doesn't matter).

        We do live in a bizarre world. Like how millions of iphone/Mac owners have all had their documents, pictures and everything else exposed on iCloud (not just celeb pics), and Apple's shareprice carries on going up....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Same here (sorta)

        Please people - get this technology to work so i can just carry my phone and ditch the wallet!

        .. and I can clone his phone from a distance..

    3. g e

      And we all thought that NFC was

      Not For Crapple devices under any circumstances. Like larger screens.

  2. WonkoTheSane Silver badge


    Apple to claim invention of NFC in 5...4...3...

    1. David Lawton

      Re: TL;DR

      You mean like they say the invented the tablet, except they don't Microsoft had it years before but they did not crack it and still they cannot crack Tablets just look at the flop the Surface is, Apple did crack it, they got the tablet right and everyone wants one. If they release a type of NFC Payment system it will be the same sort of thing, they will have done it in a way that works well and the public will except.

      My previous Samung Galaxy sh*t had NFC and a few other useless things, Apple only implement things when they believe they are ready, fully thought out and actually do something worth while, so when i got the iPhone 5 i did not care it had less features i.e. no NFC because everything it did have worked , worked very well and had a use.

      1. spudmasterflex

        Re: TL;DR

        "Because everything is did have worked, worked very well and had a use"

        Like the quality apple maps

        And the home lock screen with built in bypass feature

        Or the Bluetooth unit that can't be used with most standard profiles with other phones

        Or the excellent storage upgrade path available

        I ll stop there.

        Disclaimer" written on my iPad"

        1. cambsukguy

          Re: TL;DR

          Don't forget the lack of wireless charging - ah, I know, they are waiting for it to work properly.

          Oh, and I use NFS to initiate sharing (which occurs over Bluetooth) rather than select the other phone from a list - also useful because the other person doesn't have to be paired.

          Still, hardly a showstopper.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: TL;DR

            Wireless charging is only "lacking" for those who see it as a need. I'd rather carry a charger when I travel than a heavier bulkier charging mat - which oh by the way requires something to plug into it anyway!

            In the far future if charging mats are available all over the place and you can count on them so well you don't bring one when you travel, that's fine, but if it ever happened it would be around the time the iPhone 20 is released.

  3. eSeM

    EE - Cash On Tap

    Been using NFC on my GS4 almost every day for the past year ....

    Eat, Costa, Boots, Tesco, London buses (very shortly the underground).... even the CoOp in the village now accept it :-)

    1. Ben Boyle

      Re: EE - Cash On Tap

      Same here in the US - vending machines, 7/11, CVS Pharmacy, McDonalds. various medical offices... still get looks from some people as if I just hacked their payment systems because while it's readily available there just aren't that many people using it. I know a couple of folks who had to go to their Verizon store to get an upgraded SIM for their phones in order for it to work, so I;m figuring most just aren't bothering and unless you already have it configured and working the networks just aren't pushing it that much.

      1. IDH

        Re: EE - Cash On Tap

        It was disappointing not to see Cash on Tap mentioned in the article. It's been available in the UK for a while and works. Hopefully the iphone will encourage people to use their phones for payments and increase awareness of other products like Cash on Tap as well.

  4. Bowman

    Pay-by-bonk? Seriously?

    I thought this was the UK edition of The Register?

    I can only imagine this article was written by someone from outside of the UK because I can't imagine any other reason to miss the fact that 'bonk' means sex over here!

    1. david bates

      Re: Pay-by-bonk? Seriously?

      New here, are you?

  5. Anonymoist Cowyard

    Welcome to 2012...

    iPhone owners must be so proud of Apple's latest and greatest features.

    1. g e


      iPhone owners must be so proud of Apple's latest and greatest features innovation.

    2. Dave, Portsmouth

      Re: Welcome to 2012...

      You mean when compared to the approach of "lets put the chip in there and claim we do NFC"... without having ever talked to any commercial partners, outlets, customers etc to actually make it usable?

      I saw some stats recently from (I think) TfL that suggested in the couple of years (ish) that buses have accepted NFC / contactless payments, they have now hit something like 0.1% of customers actually use the NFC-via-phone option. If we take the huge Android / Samsung market share figures, that suggests something's not quite working yet with their brilliant innovation of sticking the chip in and hoping for the best!

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Welcome to 2012...

        I've been using my Visa Debit card to bonk around London. To be honest, if I had the option to put the PIN number in my phone, fire up the appropriate app, put in another pin or password and then bonk; I'd probably still use the card. I've set up my phone to load the appropriate internet banking app when I bonk my card against it, and to display my Oyster balance when I bonk that card against it. That is slightly useful, though not a deal-breaker in terms of selecting my next phone.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No thank you - no wireless payments please..

    I, for one, hope they lose this push to get us to sign up to unsafe payment methods. Just as we have chip & PIN (and paid for that with now being liable by default), they open up another gaping hole in the payment process. No thanks.

    There are smarter things Apple could have done..

  7. PaulusTheGrey

    A Cynic writes:-

    The number of possible ways to get your credit card and/or bank account getting ripped off just keeps getting bigger and bigger. With NFC it's now possible to get your card skimmed without it leaving your wallet, now you won't even need your wallet!

    "Hence the Ident-i-Eeze. This encodes every every single piece of information about you: your body and your life into one all-purpose machine-readable card that you can then carry round in your wallet, thereby representing technology's greatest triumph to date over both itself and plain common sense." Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless

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