Apple today announced the availability of Tap to Pay on the iPhone in the U.K., making the country the fourth region to use the iPhone as a point-of-sale (POS) minus the need for any additional machines. The contactless payment system will allow merchants across the U.K., whether big or small, to accept payments from customers through the iPhone. With Tap to Pay enabled, merchants will be able to accept payments from customers through Apple Pay, debit and credit cards, and other digital wallets.
What is Tap to Pay on iPhone and How Does It Work?
Apple first introduced Tap to Pay on iPhone sometime in February 2022. With Tap to Pay on iPhone, businesses were able to accept payments from customers using compatible iPhones as payment terminals for Apple Pay, contactless debit and credit cards, and other digital wallets.
Tap to Pay for iPhone uses NFC technology when authenticating contactless payments. It also supports PIN entry including accessibility options.
Just to be clear and also to distinguish Apple Pay from Tap to Pay on iPhone, you should know that the latter is a payment acceptance method and the former is a payment method. In other words, merchants use Tap to Pay on iPhone while customers use Apple Pay.
After a merchant has enabled Tap to Pay on iPhone as a payment acceptance method, all he needs is to install a supported payment app from the App Store. Once set up, merchants can then process payments from customers using their preferred payment method such as Apple Pay and other digital wallets.
During a business transaction, customers just need to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch to pay via Apple Pay near the merchant’s iPhone. The transaction will be completed through the use of NFC technology between the two Apple devices.
Apple Rolls Out Tap to Pay on iPhone for UK Merchants
According to Apple, Tap to Pay on iPhone will initially be available to selected merchants in the U.K. Revolut and Tyl by Natwest are the first payment platforms to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone. The digital payment system will also be available for payment platforms and app developers in the U.K. Thus, developers can start updating their payment apps to integrate Tap to Pay as a payment option.
Later on, Tap to Pay on iPhone will also be rolled out by other businesses. These include Adyen, Dojo, myPOS, SumUp, Viva Wallet, Worldline, and Zettle which is owned by PayPal. Likewise, Tap to Pay on iPhone will also be available to various Apple Retail Stores in the U.K. No words yet from Apple on when exactly this will happen though.
“We’ve seen Tap to Pay on iPhone transform the checkout experience for so many different types of businesses, and we’re thrilled to now support merchants across the U.K. by offering an easy, secure, and private way to accept contactless payments using the power, security, and convenience of iPhone, with no additional hardware needed,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet.
“Small and medium-sized businesses have long played a vital role in the U.K. economy, and alongside payment platforms, app developers, and payment networks, we’re making it easier than ever for U.K. businesses to seamlessly accept contactless payments and continue to grow their business,” Bailey added.
Is Tap to Pay on iPhone Secured?
For those who are asking whether Tap to Pay on iPhone is a secured payment acceptance method, well the direct answer to that is yes. According to Apple, privacy is fundamental in the design and development of all of Apple’s payment features. Tap to Pay on iPhone uses the same technology that Apple employed on Apple Pay. As such, every transaction will be private and secure. All transactions to be made using Tap to Pay on iPhone are encrypted and processed using the Secure Element. Apple won’t know what is being purchased.
Tap to Pay on iPhone Availability
Currently, Tap to Pay on iPhone is available to more than 700,000 businesses located in the United States. In addition, Apple retail stores are currently using Tap to Pay on iPhone as a payment acceptance method. Aside from the U.S., Tap to Pay on iPhone is also available in Australia and Taiwan.