Well, it's not entirely new that Apple is planning to integrate Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology into the iPhone 5. If not that, at least a future iPhone model. Some rumors even pointed to the iPad 2 as well. We've heard many stories of Apple hiring experts in NFC. We know that Google's Nexus S already has the technology built into it.
Apple definitely has an interest in it at this point, Bloomberg reported on such rumors and consulting firms have made compelling arguments as to why it would be in Apple's interests to do so (Apple would no longer have to pay fees to credit card companies on every purchase made on the iTunes and App Stores).
Now website Apple Insider has discovered three job postings from Apple. Two are for managers of global payment platforms, and a third is for a test engineer for iPhone hardware. They aren't just hiring anybody, either. They want the test engineer to have a Ph.D and know a whole bunch of crap about a whole range of subjects. We're pretty sure they pay well.