The lack of NFC support on Apple's iPhone has perplexed 3G for some time and the recently announced iPhone 5 also didn't include support for the technology. Natwest and RBS seem to disagree with Apple about the important of NFC and contact-less payment because they've announced they are trialling "TouchPay".
TouchPay enables iPhone owners to pay for items in stores using NFC thanks to a free iCarte case. The iCarte case effectively adds NFC support to the iPhone enabling it to be used to pay for items up to £20 in supported retail outlets.
In order to use the service you just need to put your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S into the case and download the TouchPay application from iTunes. However, the service is currently only at a trial stage with the pilot beginning today.
Touchpay is linked up directly to your current account from Natwest or RBS , which ensures minimal effort is needed to use the service. The maximum transaction value of £20 also ensures that any losses due to fraudulent activity are kept to a minimum.
RBS and Natwest are very confident that they'll be rolling out TouchPay to the wider public very soon. We're not sure if they have any plans to provide a similar service for iPhone 5 owners, but we would expect them to do so !