“If Apple lets any app use the new technology, then Square can continue accepting payments via Apple devices.”
From “Apple to Rival Square by Turning iPhones Into Payment Terminals” posted Wednesday on Bloomberg:
Apple Inc. is planning a new service that will let small businesses accept payments directly on their iPhones without any extra hardware, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The company has been working on the new feature since around 2020, when it paid about $100 million for a Canadian startup called Mobeewave that developed technology for smartphones to accept payments with the tap of a credit card. The system will likely use the iPhone’s near field communications, or NFC, chip that is currently used for Apple Pay.
In order to accept payments on an iPhone today, merchants need to use payment terminals that plug in or communicate with the phone via Bluetooth. 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.
The move could impact payments providers that rely on Apple’s iPhones to facilitate sales, such as Block Inc.’s Square, which dominates the market. If Apple lets any app use the new technology, then Square can continue accepting payments via Apple devices without needing to worry about providing its own hardware. If Apple requires merchants to use Apple Pay or its own payment processing system, that could compete directly with Square. A Block representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
My take: As someone tweeted, it’s still vaporware until Epic CEO Tim Sweeney sues Apple for a cut of the payments.