How to NFC-enable your older iPhones and keep up with the iPhone 6’s Apple Pay capabilities

Last updated: 25 August 2015

When Apple unveiled its iPhone 6 a few months ago, it came with all the fanfare that we’ve all come to expect of a launch by this tech leader. Arguably top of the must-have features list this time was the NFC Apple Pay mobile wallet capability.

News that the tech giant has finally joined the NFC revolution has been welcomed by the industry, and it will certainly help propel NFC payments to a new level. But not everyone is going to get their hands on an iPhone 6 any time soon; with many mobile contracts lasting 24 months, there are plenty of consumers who will still be using their current handsets until the Summer of 2016. In fact, statistics from comScore reveal that there remains a market of 200 million phones that users do not plan to upgrade.

But along with a significant number of owners of non-Apple handsets that are already NFC enabled, many of these iPhone users won’t want to hang around for another two years to start making contactless payments.

Our solution was to develop a simple and practical solution in the form of a thin, discreet case that ensures legacy models still look and feel like an iPhone, but gain contactless payment capabilities: the Optelio iPay Cover. While the cover doesn’t provide access to the Apple Pay service it brings NFC applications to legacy iPhones.It works by using a contactless MicroSD card embedded in the case to add the contactless capability to the device. The cases feature Apple’s Lightning and traditional 30pin connectors which facilitates communications with the phone, and has the necessary security certifications (EMVco) needed to assure end users of persistent security in payment (of payment?)


It’s not the first time cases and innovative peripherals have been used, most of the time to extend the lifetimes of consumer electronics devices – whether that’s a battery pack for an iPhone, a contactless charging case or a bluetooth tethered camera. We like to think the Optelio iPay Cover is particularly ‘on-trend’ as contactless payments continue to gain attention and interest from consumers the world over.

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