The rumors were correct: Apple is releasing a new Tap to Pay feature on the iPhone to allow merchants to use their iPhones as a point of sale terminal. The new service will be available in the United States as an iOS software beta later this year. It will support Apple Pay (on both iPhone and Apple Watch), contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets without the need for any additional hardware. The service will accept contactless credit and debit cards from major payment networks such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.
Tap to Pay will be available for integration into apps by both payment platforms and developers. According to Apple, the stripe will be the first platform to support the new feature, starting this Spring. Apple also revealed information about merchants’ Tap to Pay compatibility. You’ll need an iPhone XS or later to get started, and you’ll need to download the accompanying iOS app.
Following the setup process, store owners will accept NFC payments from customers with a simple tap. Tap to Pay protects your payment data in the same way that Apple Pay does, with Secure Element encryption that generates unique transaction IDs each time you purchase. Apple does not receive information about what you are buying or who is paying at the terminal. Tap to Pay will be widely available in most stores that accept Apple Pay.