Apple’s latest feature addition to the iPhone lineup will convert the smartphone into a portable contactless payment receiver. Called “Tap to Pay,” the feature will be available to businesses starting later this year.
Tap To Pay converts compatible iPhones into payment terminals that can “seamlessly and securely” accept contactless payments. The feature would be a boon for businesses who want to accept Apple Pay quickly and easily. Business owners would just request customers to hold their iPhone, Apple Watch, digital wallet, or contactless credit/debit card near their iPhone to accept a payment.
An interesting revelation is that app developers and payment platforms will also be able to integrate Tap to Pay into iOS apps via new SDKs. Apple announced that Stripe would be the first such payment platform to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone. Strip’s business customers and users of the new Shopify Point of Sale app will get access to this feature “this spring,” according to Apple.
Essentially, Apple isn’t limiting the iPhone’s NFC capability to native features. Opening the system up to third-party players and letting them create apps and features around the Tap to Pay utility will be a step ahead for all stakeholders involved, and iPhone users would benefit too.
Announcing the new Tap to Pay feature, Apple Pay VP Jennifer Bailey said:
“As more and more consumers are tapping to pay with digital wallets and credit cards, Tap to Pay on iPhone will provide businesses with a secure, private, and easy way to accept contactless payments and unlock new checkout experiences using the power, security, and convenience of iPhone. In collaboration with payment platforms, app developers, and payment networks, we’re making it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes — from solopreneurs to large retailers — to seamlessly accept contactless payments and continue to grow their business.”
The feature will make its way to the iPhone XS and newer models sometime later this year in an “upcoming iOS software beta.” Apple promises to “work closely” with payment platforms to offer the feature to “million so f merchants.” However, the company has not outlined any plans for expanding Tap to Pay outside the US.[Via Apple]