I did think it was a bit odd that Apple purchased a security company especially a hardware company which is something Apple rarely does, then I stumbled onto this post on Quora and it made everything a little clearer.
The post spoke about Apple’s lack of NFC or any type of mobile payments in the iPhone and yet with Passbook they are clearly starting to move into the area. The post then went on to take a look at AuthenTec and the area it specialises in which is high quality highly accurate finger print scanning technology. Taking a closer look at the company the author of the article found out that one of their most recent break through was a very small rectangular finger print scanner roughly the size of the Apple home button.
The author of the article then went on to find this patent below from Apple that describes how Apple is trying to fuse NFC with finger print scanning technology. You can see on the diagram how they would have a finger print slot next to the home button, since this is from 2008 it could be a little out dated however with the new technology they have just purchased it could be just the thing Apple needed to find a perfect and more importantly safe way to integrate NFC into its phones. Apple already does in app and iTunes payment in a flawless manner it is only a matter of time before they more into mobile payments as this is a much much bigger market for them to conquer.
This could easily be wild speculation however there are a few things that are certain. Apple will have to enter the Mobile payments market. Apple did purchase a finger print scanner expert company and Apple does have patents about using NFC with finger print security.
Source: Joe Griffiths