Apple Confirms Plans for iPhone Contactless Payments for Merchants

Apple, businesses, contactless, payments, iPhone

Apple has confirmed rumors from last month that the company is indeed launching new contactless payment capabilities for merchants that turn iPhones into payment terminals without the need for additional hardware.

The new function offers millions of U.S. merchants of all sizes to accept all types of payments — Apple Pay, contactless debit and credit cards, and digital wallets — by tapping their iPhone, the company said in a press release on Tuesday (Feb. 8).

The unconfirmed news first broke Jan. 27 with unnamed sources with insider information providing the details to Bloomberg. Apple started developing the idea in 2020 after its $100 million acquisition of Mobeewave, which had originally created the smartphone technology.

See also: Apple Makes New Moves to Turn iPhones into Payment Terminals

Stripe will be the first payment platform to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone to their business customers, including the Shopify Point of Sale app this spring. Additional payment platforms and apps will follow later this year.

“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,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet.

“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,” Bailey added.

Read more: Apple’s Latest Payments Move May Be Too Little, Too Late

When Tap to Pay becomes available, merchants can unlock contactless payment acceptance through a supporting iOS app on an iPhone XS or later device.

At checkout, the customer is prompted by the merchant to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch to pay by holding their device to the merchant’s iPhone. The payment is securely completed using NFC technology. Customers’ payment data is protected, encrypted and processed using the Secure Element.

“Whether you’re a salesperson at an internet-first retailer or an individual entrepreneur, you can soon accept contactless payments on a device that’s already in your pocket: your iPhone,” said Billy Alvarado, Stripe’s chief business officer. “With Tap to Pay on iPhone, millions of businesses using Stripe can enhance their in-person commerce experience by offering their customers a fast and secure checkout.”