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.