Apple kicked off the new year with the announcement that it would be introducing a Tap to Pay feature that allows users to turn their iPhone into a point-of-sale terminal. Created specifically with small business owners in mind, this feature will let merchants use an iPhone XS or device released later to easily accept payments from contactless credit and debit cards. Simply tap them with the device, and the payment is made.
This recent move is likely the result of the last two years small business owners have had to struggle through. The pandemic completely changed the way small business owners operate, along with the expectations, fears and preferences of their customers. This contactless method of payment is in response to this need and shift.
“In collaboration with payment platforms, app developers and payment networks, we’re making it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes … to seamlessly accept contactless payments and continue to grow their business,” said Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, in a recent statement.
How does the new feature work? Tap to Pay works with both credit and debit cards from the largest payment networks today, including American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa. In order to utilize this new feature, merchants will simply need a mobile app or payment platform that supports the feature.
According to the latest reports, Stripe will be the first payment platform to offer Tap to Pay to business customers. Shopify will also begin offering it this spring, with other leading payment processors and apps following suit later this year.
“The early rumors were Apple was going to take over the payment portion of the process, and that would impact [Block],” O’Donnell said. Instead, Tap to Pay passes the transaction to the mobile app or the payment platform on the phone.
With smartphones playing an increasingly important role in business operations, this latest feature comes at the right time. The iPhone has become a critical tool for so many consumers over the past two years, everything from communications and entertainment to work and shopping.
In the words of O’Donnell, the iPhone is “more productive and more useful in more places. It’s as simple as that.”
Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert who understands the complex world of Apple Pay. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to cryptopay. He enjoys eating pie with ice-cream on his backyard porch, as should all right-thinking people.