Apple Hires Near Field Communication Expert

Apple recently hired Benjamin Vigier to as product manager for mobile commerce. Mr. Vigier is an expert in near field communications, and his hiring may be an indicator that Apple is planning on adding RFID or other mobile payment and identification technology to the iPhone.

According to Mr. Vigier’s LinkedIn profile, he served as mFoundry’s mobile wallet, payment and NFC product manager up until July where he was responsible for Paypal Mobile, Starbucks Card Mobile and Sprint’s MyMoneyManager. He has also managed NFC solutions and embeded technologies at SanDisk and Bouygues Telecom.

Assuming Apple uses Mr. Vigier’s skills to add NFC technology to the iPhone, users of future versions of the combination iPod and smartphone could use the device to pay for services and products without needing to pull out their credit card. While it’s possible Apple may be planning on adding that kind of technology to the next generation iPhone, the company isn’t saying exactly what it has in store for us.

[Thanks to NFC World for the heads up.]