The Apple iPhone 5 has been expected to support Near-Field Communications (NFC) ever since rumours began. Infact, we're quite surprised it wasn't added to the iPhone 4S, but perhaps Apple wanted to wait until the technology was more wide-spread.
New information from Mastercard's Ed McLaughlin gives the biggest hint so far that Apple are going to include NFC in the iPhone 5. In an interview with Fastcompany he stated that "I don't know of a handset manufacturer that isn't in process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready."
PayPass is Mastercard's NFC solution and McLaughlin is in a good position to know about such situations because he is head of "Emerging Payments" at Mastercard.
To be honest the guys at 3G would be hugely surprised if NFC isn't included in the next iPhone, because it really is a growing technology and one that should see widespread adoption in the next couple of years.
Once we hear any more information about either the iPhone 5 or NFC we'll let you know.