Apple is working on tech that will enable businesses to accept credit and debit card payments directly through an iPhone rather than having to rely on point-of-sale (POS) terminals.
Insiders have said that this will be possible thanks to the iPhone’s onboard NFC chip, a wireless standard that enables contactless payments (such as the case for Apple Pay), keyless entry etc.
Back in July 2020, Apple acquired Canadian startup Mobeewave for about $100 million. The startup company had developed award-winning, patented technology to let businesses accept card payments with just a tap on a customer’s iPhone.
But about a year before Mobeewave was sold to Apple, the startup actually worked with Samsung on a pilot programme to test the technology in Canada. More than 10,000 sellers had downloaded the app on their smartphones and this allowed them to accept card payments without the need for any extra hardware.
Although Apple has declined to comment on this latest development, it has been reported that the company may begin rolling out the feature via a software update in the coming months.
Good news for small businesses
This exciting innovation will provide smaller companies with more options of accepting payments, but it could also spell bad news for point-of-sale machine makers.
According to a Bloomberg report that made the announcement, “The upcoming feature will 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”.
It is yet to be seen whether the payment acceptance option will be branded as part of Apple Pay, whether Apple will let any app use the new technology, or whether it would require merchants to use Apple Pay or its own payment processing system.