When Apple unveiled and launched iPad Air 2, they mentioned nothing about an NFC chip on the inside of the new tablet, even though it works with Apple Pay. However, it turns out that there actually is an NFC chip on the inside of the iPad Air 2, and it might not be long until it’s unleashed.
iFixit did a teardown of the iPad Air 2 and revealed that the tablet has the same NFC chip as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Why wouldn’t Apple bring this up to buyers?
Gigaom points out that the NFC chip inside of the iPad Air 2 is probably meant for merchants, and Apple could launch an Apple Pay for businesses of sorts, allowing stores to use iPads as cash registers and accept Apple Pay as a payment method by using the NFC chip to accept wireless payments from other NFC devices.
The iPad itself is already a popular device to use as a cash register of sorts at small retailers, especially with credit card readers from Square and PayPal, allowing iPads to accept credit card payments.
However, the iPad Air 2 could be used to also accept payments wirelessly using Apple Pay, which is why the NFC chip is hiding inside the new tablet. This is an extremely clever way to bring Apple Pay support to smaller establishments instead of just the bigger chains like it is now.
Of course, there has been no word from Apple has far as when it could unlock access to the iPad Air 2’s NFC chip, but we reckon it’ll be sometime in the near future.
Apple Pay launched earlier this week, but the new payment platform hasn’t been without its initial issues. Some users have been getting double-charged when using Apple Pay at stores, with one user claiming he was charged twice while shopping at Whole Foods using his Bank of America debit card through Apple Pay. Bank of America notes that this particular problem is on their end and have been working on a fix.
Overall, it still seems that while Apple Pay is a good idea, it’s seeing a shaky start. Some users are saying that they still have to enter in their PIN number on the keypad even after authorizing the payment on their iPhone.
Furthermore, some stores aren’t even training their employees properly on how to accept Apple Pay. One Reddit user said he went to Subway and the cashier had no idea how to get an Apple Pay transaction going, saying that the cashier couldn’t figure out how to use it, and “then a QR code appeared on the terminal, but there was no option on my phone to scan it.”
Another thing that has users scratching their heads is how returns are handled if you paid for the product using Apple Pay. One user says that returning an item at CVS required swiping the credit card that the item was purchased with, but since you can’t exactly do that with Apple Pay, this forced the cashier to essentially override the system in order to return the money.
Perhaps the biggest annoyance to Apple Pay users is that many big retail stores simply refuse to accept Apple Pay as a payment method, including Best Buy, Walmart, and now Rite Aid, which quit accepting Apple Pay entirely due to a contract it set up with another competing payment platform.