With rumors of the next iPhone to have NFC support, it's not at all surprising that Apple is probably working on some form of wireless payment system. Unnamed sources from Bloomberg and Re/code seem to further confirm that Apple has been in talks with all three major credit/debit payment vendors - American Express, MasterCard and Visa.
In the non-Apple ecosystem, NFC is most often used to quickly establish communication between two compatible products by tapping them together. Primarily, it simplifies the traditional Bluetooth handshake process to discover the appropriate device and to give clearance to communicate with each other. This has allowed easy pairing of NFC compatible devices like headphones, printers and more, while also allowing quick transfer of media to another NFC compatible smartphone/tablet/notebook. This usage model is unlikely the impetus for Apple to add the rumored NFC support since they've already got a better alternative with AirDrop.
NFC can also be used to make payments with your mobile phone with a compatible point-of-sale terminal and a suitable mobile wallet. This aspect hasn't really taken off in a big way although many cities (including Singapore) have already deployed such mobile payment systems in limited scope.
With Apple still the leading smartphone brand and ownership in the US, along with a vast payment information database that they already 'own' through millions of iTunes accounts setup to consume the various services offered by Apple, the company is in the best position to help shape the payment gateway of the future.
Google has been promoting its Google Wallet platform both to consumers and developers for several years now, but it hasn't really gained the kind of traction they were hoping to achieve - at least not yet.
If rumors were to be believed, Apple might just set things right in the retail landscape and how people make micro and macro payments moving forward.
All will be revealed in less than a week with major publications like ourselves heading up to San Francisco to hear what Apple has to reveal on 9th September (USA time). At this point of time, it is widely believed that Apple will launch two new iPhone 6 models and a wearable device at the event. Would a new iPhone payment system be the missing "one more thing" ? Stay tuned to us as we find out next week!