Apple Unveils Tap to Pay: iPhone Becomes Credit Card Terminal for Businesses

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Last month, it was rumoured Apple would enable its iPhones to become credit card terminals for businesses, and on Tuesday morning the company made this official.

Apple has unveiled Tap to Pay on iPhone, which will allow its smartphone to accept contactless payments such as Apple Pay, and from contactless credit and debit cards and digital wallets, without extra hardware needed.

The new Tap to Pay service on iPhone will first launch in the United States of course, with the feature available to payment platforms and developers to integrate into their iOS apps. Essentially, an iPhone will become a Square reader to take contactless payments.

First partners will include Stripe and Shopify’s Point of Sale app this spring. Apple says other payment platforms and apps are coming 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 a statement.

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“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,” added Bailey.

Tap to Pay on iPhone will launch as an iOS app soon, available on an iPhone XS or newer. When checking out, customers just place their iPhone or Apple Watch with Apple Pay near an iPhone, leveraging the latter’s NFC technology, no extra hardware is needed. The same goes for contactless credit and debit cards and digital wallets.

Apple says Tap to Pay on iPhone will also debut at its Apple Store locations in the United States later this year.

As for privacy, Tap to Pay leverages the same private and secure elements of Apple Pay, with all transactions encrypted on the device. “Apple doesn’t know what is being purchased or who is buying it,” it says.

Apple did not clarify what sort of transaction fees it will charge merchants to use Tap to Pay, or what other costs are associated with the feature.

It’s unclear when Tap to Pay will launch in Canada, but let’s hope future expansion plans will include us, considering Canada’s Shopify is participating with the feature in the U.S.