Silicon Valley

Apple will reportedly be opening up the near-field communication (NFC) chips on its iPhones to do more than just pay for your burrito bowl.

The news: The Information reports that the system iPhones use to allow mobile payments through Apple Pay will be expanded to support other secure interactions. The official announcement is expected next month.

What it can be used for: NFC chips in phones allow a greater array of secure wireless interactions than, say, Bluetooth. Possible applications include paying subway fares and unlocking your doors. Apple employees have reportedly already been using the technology on their office doors at the company’s new campus.

Why it matters: With more than 700 million iPhones deployed worldwide, Apple’s expanded embrace of NFC is likely to boost mainstream use of the technology.