NFC technology, or Near Field Communication, is really expected to take off this year. It's that system that intends to turn your smartphone into a full fledged wallet you can just waive at a sensor and have it pay your bill. We've seen it exist on current generation Smartphones like the Nexus S, though the technology is still not as popular as to really take advantage of the service just yet. A cool rumor that's been floating around though, is that the next generation iPhone, and even the next iPad will sport this technology upon release.
According to Bloomberg:
The main goal for Apple would be to get a piece of the $6.2 trillion Americans spend each year on goods and services, Crone said. Today, the company pays credit-card processing fees on every purchase from iTunes. By encouraging consumers to use cheaper methods — such as tapping their bank accounts directly, which is how many purchases are made via PayPal — Apple could cut its own costs and those of retailers selling Apple products.
Our biggest bet is that Apple is a mixed bag when it comes to innovation. They are either the first company to offer things, or they'll chose to be the last if competition is already playing with it. Cases like the first generation iPhone where Apple was first in offering lots of stuff, really becomes shady when we try to remember how long it took them to figure out Multi-tasking. So yeah, the fact that the Nexus S is already equipped doesn't sound that good.
In the end, these are just assumptions, so our advice is that you check out the release of the next generation iPad in February and use that event as a reference. Not sure I'll be a fan of NFC when I forget my phone at a restaurant, but it's still something nice to have.