Tap to Pay on IPhone

iPhone reportedly to be able to accept card payments

New feature will instead turn the iPhone into a payment terminal

Apple is reportedly planning a new service that will allow small businesses to accept payments directly on their iPhones, allowing your iPhone to become a contactless payment terminal, without any extra hardware required.

For payments to get accepted on an iPhone, retailers currently use payment terminals to receive money on their iOS devices that are connected via Bluetooth, such as Block Inc’s Square payment systems.

The new feature will instead turn the iPhone into a payment terminal, allowing merchants to accept payments with the tap of a credit card or another iPhone onto the back of their device,.

The system will likely use iPhone’s near field communications, or NFC, chip that is currently used for Apple Pay, and the service may roll out through a software update.

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Apple has just released iOS 15.3 and is expected to release the first beta version of iOS 15.4 in the near future.

Apparently, Apple has been working on the feature since around 2020, when it paid about $100 million for Mobeewave, a Canadian start-up, that developed technology for smartphones to accept payments with the tap of a credit card.

It is unclear whether the payment acceptance option will be branded as part of Apple Pay or if the company plans to partner with an existing payment network for the feature or launch it alone. It is also unclear what countries it will initially launch in.

The iPhone won’t be the first device to have Mobeewave’s payment acceptance technology. Samsung, which backed the start-up before it was sold to Apple, implemented credit card acceptance with a tap on its devices in 2019.