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Apple to turn iPhone 6 into digital wallet, reports say

One of the big questions industry analysts have been asking about the upcoming iPhone 6, expected to be unveiled by Apple on September 9, is whether it will incorporate digital payment technology to enable it to function like an electronic wallet. Now several new reports suggest the answer is 'yes.'

Re/Code, citing unnamed sources familiar with the talks, is reporting that Apple has reached an agreement with American Express to work together on a mobile payment system for the new iPhone. The tech news site says Apple has held discussion "with multiple credit card networks" about the new payment system.

Bloomberg reports Apple has also reached deals with MasterCard and Visa, in addition to AmEx, as it pursues partnerships with major payment networks, banks and retailers.

The mobile payment system would reportedly be enabled by a short-distance wireless technology called near-field communication, or NFC. Though NFC is already available on a number of Samsung and other Android devices, it has not been built into Apple phones in the past, hampering its widespread adoption.

Near-field communications (NFC) technology is already built into Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3 pictured here, enabling mobile payment at participating retailers. CNET

NFC, along with the Touch ID fingerprint scanner already found on the most recent iPhone, could enable users to pay for items in a store with the touch of a finger. Read more about NFC on our partner site CNET.

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