Apple introduced the function of accepting payments by iPhone. How it works and what you need to know


What I love about Apple is the huge potential of its technology. Using the usual, it would seem, software updates, the company now and then adds some chips to them, for the implementation of which everyone else would have to at least release a new model. And Apple easily expands the functionality of older devices even several years after their release. What is face unlock, even if it is hidden behind a mask. But, as it turned out, the surprises did not end there, because the company plans to launch more function of accepting payments on the iPhone.

Apple has introduced a new feature for its smartphones called Tap to Pay. Its purpose is to allow the iPhone to accept payments without the use of additional hardware. But a few weeks ago, analysts assured that only the iPhone 14 would get this feature, and Apple took it and stunned everyone, adding it even to older models.

Accept payments on iPhone

How Tap to Pay works Reminds me of Apple Pay, but in reverse. If the contactless payment service generates a token with information about the payment, which is then transmitted via the NFC terminal, then Tap to Pay does the same, but in the opposite direction, only the iPhone itself plays the role of the terminal. Accordingly, it will be possible to pay with it in any way: by card, smartphone or watch.

Apple has not yet described all the technical features of the payment acceptance function, but gave some extremely important explanations:

  • Tap to Pay will only work on iPhone XS and newer;
  • The Apple Pay service will be used as the technical basis for accepting payments, so that payments will be completely protected from interception;
  • Tap to Pay is initially slated to roll out to the US only;
  • Tap to Pay will not be a native iOS feature, but only a framework that developers can use in their apps;
  • Payments will be handled not by Apple, but by third-party acquiring services;
  • The first acquiring platform to connect to Tap to Pay will be American Stripe;
  • Tap to Pay will officially launch this spring, apparently after the release of iOS 15.4;
  • The Tap to Pay framework itself will be free, but users will probably have to pay the bank for acquiring services.

Actually Tap to Pay is a big breakthrough in mobile payments, especially for Apple. After all, until recently, the iPhone could not even read bank cards, using NFC as a tool for autofilling details, and now it is about to be able to accept payments on its own. Startup developments allowed Apple to realize this opportunity Mobeewavewhich she bought in 2020 for nearly $100 million.

How to accept payments via NFC

However, in the world of smartphones, the functions accept payments via NFC like Tap to Pay is not uncommon. A few years ago, Samsung introduced the service SoftPOS, which allows you to accept contactless payments on your phones and tablets without additional equipment. The service is already working properly in Russia, and several popular Russian banks have connected to it, which act as acquirers.

In practice, there is nothing super complicated about accept payments by smartphone, No. Here’s how it will look in the case of Tap to Pay:

  • The seller enters the amount of the transaction in the application on the iPhone;
  • The buyer applies a smartphone, watch or card to the iPhone with Tap to Pay;
  • The application for accepting payments reads the card data and sends them in the form of an encrypted token to the acquiring bank for conducting a transaction in the payment system;
  • The merchant receives the result of payment authorization;
  • The buyer receives a paid product or service and, most likely, an electronic receipt.

In fact, the iPhone itself – as well as payment terminals – money is not debited from a card or smartphone. Its purpose is only to read the bank card details, and then send them along with the payment amount further down the chain so that the payment system conducts the transaction. And how exactly this will be implemented interface-wise, the application developer answers, because the payment acceptance function will not be included in iOS itself.

In fact, it is understandable. Accepting payments via Tap to Pay is a feature that is unlikely to be needed by the average user. It’s still technology for small businesses. For example, for sellers of toys in parks, for fast food stalls, etc. For the most part, they do not want to issue a real terminal in order to pay for its maintenance. A accepting payments with iphone will allow them to save money and at the same time not limit customers in the possibilities of payment.

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