However, the Passbook app is one thing. The discovery that the iPhone 5 will sport integrated NFC chips points to Apple developing its own service to compete with the still nascent Google Wallet and Microsoft's recently unveiled NFC wallet service in Windows Phone 8.
It's not the first rumor about integrated NFC functionality related to the iPhone. Last year, prior to the announcement of the iPhone 4S, numerous widespread rumors said the same thing about that device.
Apple's inclusion of Passbook into iOS 6 makes the inclusion of NFC chips into the iPhone 5 a seeming done deal, although iOS 6 will hit many more devices than just the 2012 version of Apple's smartphone. Also, as with anything Apple-centric, who knows what we will find until Apple unveils it?
NFC and mobile payment services are still very new, especially in the U.S. However, a survey by Pew Research Center in mid-April of this year found that 65 percent of experts surveyed said they think most people will fully adopt mobile payments by 2020, virtually eliminating the need for credit cards or cash.