Apple has officially announced Tap to Pay on iPhone, its contactless peer-to-peer payment system for small businesses to accept payments.
Tap to Pay on iPhone
Rumored in January, the feature is an alternative to device-based payment systems such as Square. 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. There is a sign-up page here for the beta. Additional payment platforms and apps will follow later this year. Once the feature becomes available, merchants will be able to unlock contactless payment acceptance through a supporting iOS app on an iPhone XS or later device.
Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet:
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.
Apple says Tap to Pay on iPhone will be private. Payment data is protected by the same technology that makes Apple Pay private and secure. All transactions are encrypted and processed using the iPhone’s Secure Element. Apple doesn’t know what is being purchased or who is buying it. Tap to Pay on iPhone will work with contactless credit and debit cards from leading payment networks, including American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa.
In 2020, the Apple acquired Canadian startup Mobeewave for about US$100 million. Mobeewave developed smartphone technology that allowed the devices to accept credit card payments directly. This acquisition likely led to the formation of the feature.