Apple's Square killer

By opening its tap-to-pay system to third parties -- starting with Stripe and Shopify -- Apple neatly sidesteps antitrust concerns.

From "Apple empowers businesses to accept contactless payments through Tap to Pay on iPhone" released Tuesday:

Apple today announced plans to introduce Tap to Pay on iPhone. The new capability will empower millions of merchants across the US, from small businesses to large retailers, to use their iPhone to seamlessly and securely accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets through a simple tap to their iPhone — no additional hardware or payment terminal needed.

Tap to Pay on iPhone will be available for payment platforms and app developers to integrate into their iOS apps and offer as a payment option to their business customers. Stripe will be the first payment platform to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone to their business customers, including the Shopify Point of Sale app this spring. Additional payment platforms and apps will follow later this year.

Once Tap to Pay on iPhone becomes available, merchants will be able to unlock contactless payment acceptance through a supporting iOS app on an iPhone XS or later device. At checkout, the merchant will simply prompt the customer to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch to pay with Apple Pay, their contactless credit or debit card, or other digital wallet near the merchant’s iPhone, and the payment will be securely completed using NFC technology.

No additional hardware is needed to accept contactless payments through Tap to Pay on iPhone, so businesses can accept payments from wherever they do business. Apple Pay is already accepted at more than 90 percent of US retailers, and with this new capability, virtually every business, big or small, will be able allow their customers to Tap to Pay on iPhone at checkout. Tap to Pay on iPhone will also roll out to Apple Store locations in the US later this year.

My take: In case you didn't catch it the first two times, no additional hardware is needed.

7 Comments

  1. “Apple said the feature would be accessed through third-party apps, which will be released later this year. Other payment companies and app developers will be able to develop apps that access the Tap to Pay feature in a forthcoming version of iOS…“ This coverage of same Apple PR from CNBC includes third-party, other payment companies and app developers. Sure makes the point that everyone’s invited to the Tap to Pay feature party, someday soon. It almost sounds like Apple is generously giving away this feature to all interested. It must have cost $ millions to work out the details. I suppose Apple Pay gets the 1st choice spot.
    Don’t see Tap to Pay benefitting Dutch dating apps but who knows?

    4
    February 8, 2022
    • Steven Philips said:
      No, but it might work for “dating” in de Walletjes! (A’dam’s red light district! Not “little Apple wallets! 🙂 )

      1
      February 8, 2022
  2. Daniel Epstein said:
    Given the way many people think of monopolies this could lead to complaining Apple is monopolizing mobile payment options because it will work almost everywhere! Apple better not profit from this. All they deserve is payment for the phone. That is more than enough profit. Convenience be damned. (Only half joking)

    2
    February 8, 2022
  3. Robert Varipapa said:
    Will it work with Android devices?

    1
    February 8, 2022
  4. John Konopka said:
    Not sure how this will affect Square. I’m sure they’ve seen the writing on the wall for some time. There was no reason to expect that technology would stand still and require their hardware forever. Probably they’ll do OK. They could offer all sorts of accounting help, tax calculations, credit card fraud detection and such that would make it worthwhile for small businesses to continue doing business with them.

    3
    February 8, 2022
  5. Fred Stein said:
    Nice:

    Two Apple services catch this tailwind; Apple Wallet/Card/Cash; And Business Essentials.

    1
    February 8, 2022
  6. Jerry Doyle said:
    Apple is facilitating economies of the world in moving to cashless societies. Going cashless decreases crime, negates better the avoidance of tax evasion and smooths commerce transactions for millions of vendors in third world and developing nations for selling goods and services. I am hoping that I will experience fully a cashless society during my time. Just the savings for governments in the printing of money has to be significant. Apple’s involvement ever deeper into the financial marketplace should begin paying sizable dividends in the coming years that few WS analysts ever have noticed fully in the companies’ overall operations.

    2
    February 8, 2022

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