Apple Announces ‘Tap to Pay’ on iPhone, With No Extra Hardware for Reading Cards

Apple Newsroom yesterday:

Apple today announced plans to introduce Tap to Pay on iPhone. The new capability will empower millions of merchants across the US, from small businesses to large retailers, to use their iPhone to seamlessly and securely accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets through a simple tap to their iPhone — no additional hardware or payment terminal needed. Tap to Pay on iPhone will be available for payment platforms and app developers to integrate into their iOS apps and offer as a payment option to their business customers. 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.

It requires a third-party app to use, and those apps aren’t shipping yet, but the framework is in today’s new iOS 15.4 beta 2 release.

Andrew Liszewski, writing for Gizmodo, takes this as a sign that “Apple Wants to Kill Square”. I don’t think that’s the case at all. Square’s business is processing payments and providing services to businesses, not selling $49 credit card readers. Just in the last few weeks, we’ve had service done on our heater and dishwasher. Both times I was able to pay the repair guys using my credit card via a Bluetooth card reader paired with their phones. (Both had iPhones, for what it’s worth.) This new feature just means they won’t need the card reader hardware in the future.

Thursday, 10 February 2022