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Your iPhone might be able to accept contactless payments soon

You’ll be able to accept payments by tapping an NFC-enabled card on your iPhone.

iphone 13 in-hand
Image: Unsplash

Your iPhone is about to level up, with Apple adding the ability to take contactless payments without additional hardware. That’s according to a report from Bloomberg, and it sounds perfect for small businesses.

The feature is all possible because of a Canadian startup, Mobeewave, which Apple bought for $100 million in 2020. It uses the NFC (near field communications) chip inside every iPhone to accept credit card details from customers. The same chip also powers Apple Pay.

Currently, the only way for small merchants to accept credit card payments is through additional hardware, like options from Square. If Apple implements this new feature, it could mean that third-party payment processors also no longer need to send out hardware scanners.

square card reader
Square’s card reader option for iPhone (Image: Square)

Bloomberg notes that it’s “unclear whether the payment acceptance option will be branded as part of Apple Pay.” That would be a natural home for it, although it could draw regulatory scrutiny, especially if Apple requires third-party processors to use Apple Pay to gain access.

READ MORE: The next iPhone SE could release as early as March

Mobeewave’s tech also found its way into Samsung smartphones back in 2019. The Samsung Point-of-sale app was downloaded by tens of thousands of businesses, but it’s not clear how many of those downloads were actively used.

With Apple’s tight integration of services into iOS, they would have a huge advantage over the established players in the market.

UPDATE 2/8/2022 12:24 PM ET: It’s official – your iPhone will soon be able to accept contactless payments. The company has now confirmed the feature, called Tap to Pay. Read more here.

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