Apple is working on a new feature that will turn iPhones into wireless payment terminals. Using the smartphone’s NFC (near field communication) chip, the new tap payment system will allow small businesses to receive payments instantly by letting customers tap their credit cards at the back of the iPhone.
Currently, the NFC chip is used for Apple Pay payments and other purposes. However, a payment terminal is required at retail stores for Apple Pay like Block Inc.’s Square which needs to be plugged in or requires a Bluetooth connection to accept payments. Bloomberg claims that the alleged payment service will remove the need for any extra hardware to accept wireless payments.
Apple’s new iPhone payment service is likely to debut with iOS 15.4 update in Spring this year
The tech giant began working on the new iPhone payment service in 2020 when it acquired Mobeewave, a Canadian startup for $100 million. As described in the report, the new feature will especially be helpful for small businesses which will be able to receive payments via a single tap on the back for their iPhones. Samsung launched the same payment feature in 2019.
The upcoming feature will instead turn the iPhone into a payment terminal, letting users such as food trucks and hair stylists accept payments with the tap of a credit card or another iPhone onto the back of their device.
Furthermore, there is uncertainty about the company’s plan to launch the new feature as a stand-alone service or to launch it in partnership with an existing payment network. Having said that, as the feature is expected to launch this spring with iOS 15.4 update it will likely be supported by the latest iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models.
Apple may begin rolling out the feature via a software update in the coming months, the people said. The company is expected to release the first beta version of iOS 15.4 in the near future, which is likely to see a final release for consumers as early as the spring.
t’s unclear whether the payment acceptance option will be branded as part of Apple Pay, though the team working on the feature has been working within Apple’s payments division since being brought over from Mobeewave, the people said. It’s also not known if Apple intends to partner with an existing payment network for the feature or launch it alone.