Apple will introduce a new iPhone contactless payment feature on Apple Pay, tap to pay. The feature will be available later in 2022 via the iOS app for supported merchants in the US.
Tap to pay, a new iPhone contactless payment feature
A press release on Apple Newsroom frames Tap to Pay as a new way for businesses to accept contactless payments on iPhone without requiring a dongle like Square. The new feature was recently highlighted in a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
Tap to Pay requires an iPhone XS or later and a special partner-enabled iOS app. Apple promises that retailers of all kinds will be able to accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets “through a simple tap to their iPhone.”
Based on some existing rumors, we can imagine how Tap to Pay works: At checkout, merchants simply prompt customers to pay with an iPhone or Apple Watch in their hands using Apple Pay, contactless credit or debit cards, or other digital wallets near the merchant’s iPhone, and then use NFC technology to securely complete the payment. Accepting contactless payments on an iPhone via Tap to Pay requires no additional hardware, so businesses can accept payments wherever they do business.
Apple says that Stripe will be the first payment platform to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone to its business customers. And coming this spring, the Shopify Point of Sale app will introduce support for the new iPhone contactless payments feature. Cards from American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa will be supported at launch.
Apple said other payment platforms and applications will be launched later this year.
When will Tap to Pay on iPhone launch?
Tap to Pay on iPhone will launch “later this year” in the United States with support from select merchants. Tap to Pay will also roll out to Apple’s US-based stores later in 2022.
The NFC-enabled contactless payments feature may even come to your favorite apps because Apple will let developers integrate Tap to Pay functionality into their apps. For instance, a shopping app might add Tap to Pay as a payment option. Tap to Pay uses the same security principles as Apple Pay, meaning that all payment data is securely stored in the Secure Element on your device, walled off from the rest of the system. As is the case with Apple Pay, Apple doesn’t know what is being purchased or who is buying it.