Apple announces it will begin accepting contactless payments through Tap to Pay on iPhone

This morning, Apple unveiled that it will begin accepting merchant payments with Tap to Pay on an iPhone. This means that merchants will be able to accept contactless payments using only an iPhone and a partner-enabled app. Stripe, along with the Shopify Point of Sale app will be the first to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone starting in the spring. More platforms will come later this year.

Apple announces it will begin accepting contactless payments through Tap to Pay on iPhone

No additional hardware will be necessary to accept payments. Everything is handled through the iPhone’s built-in NFC for all iPhones XS and newer. Once available, Tap to Pay on iPhone will let businesses unlock the ability to receive contactless payments through a supported iOS app. When checking out, a customer will be able to use Apple Pay, digital wallets (which we assume include Google Pay and Samsung Pay), or contactless cards from major payment networks (Visa, Discover, AMEX, and Mastercard).

Tap to Pay on iPhone will be available to platform payment partners who want to accept payments through iPhone through an SDK that will arrive in an upcoming iOS beta build.

We’ve seen third-party payment platforms develop entirely on iPhone and iPad over the years. Square was one of the first, offering merchants the ability to accept credit cards through a small magnetic strip card reader that plugged into the headphone jack. As the transition to contactless payments continues to reach full adoption (90% of businesses in the US accept contactless payments according to Apple), we are interested to see how this announcement from Apple will shift the payments industry.


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