Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Apple takes on Square with Tap to Pay for iPhones

Apple today announced plans to turn hundreds of millions of iPhones into portable card readers with its new Tap to Pay initiative. This is a feature rolling out later this year in the U.S, enabling iPhones to accept payments over Apple Pay and other contactless payment methods with the same ease of use as one would a regular terminal. The company is opening this up with Stripe and Shopify integration this spring.

“As more and more consumers are tapping to pay with digital wallets and credit cards, Tap to Pay on iPhone will provide businesses with a secure, private, and easy way to accept contactless payments and unlock new checkout experiences using the power, security, and convenience of iPhone,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet in a release today. “In collaboration with payment platforms, app developers, and payment networks, we’re making it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes — from solopreneurs to large retailers — to seamlessly accept contactless payments and continue to grow their business.”

“Whether you’re a salesperson at an internet-first retailer or an individual entrepreneur, you can soon accept contactless payments on a device that’s already in your pocket: your iPhone,” said Billy Alvarado, Stripe’s chief business officer. “With Tap to Pay on iPhone, millions of businesses using Stripe can enhance their in-person commerce experience by offering their customers a fast and secure checkout.”

While Apple has not yet given a time frame for this feature to become available other than later this year, it may come in a patch to iOS 15 as the company references a spring integration with Shopify’s point of sales app.

Once this is made available, it will mean iPhones from the iPhone XS up will be able to replace Square terminals (or other alternatives) in small businesses and individual traders. It will also help increase demand and provide a second life for older iPhones, with those models now being able to be used as point-of-sale devices.

More interestingly, Apple is actually opening up the NFC chip of the iPhone to third-party developers. It’s small in the grand scheme of things, but coming after threats of an EU investigation into Apple’s handling of Apple Pay and its associated NFC chip, it does make the company look more reactive than its press release would have you believe.

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Allison
A UK-based tech journalist for Digital Trends, helping keep track and make sense of the fast-paced world of tech with a…
Why RCS for the iPhone is Apple’s biggest announcement of 2023
A person holding the Apple iPhone 15 Plus.

Hell has frozen over. On November 16, 2023, Apple made the very unexpected announcement that it was bringing support for RCS on the iPhone in 2024.

In 2022, Tim Cook himself said that he’d rather sell you an iPhone instead of ever bringing RCS support to the iPhone because he thought customer demand for RCS wasn’t there. Google has made numerous attempts to shame Apple over its pushback of RCS over the years.

Read more
Why I can’t wait for Apple to finally make a smart ring
The Ultrahuman Air smart ring with the Oura Ring.

Ultrahuman Ring Air Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

These days, when someone thinks of a “fitness tracker” or “wearable tech,” the first thing that you probably think of is a smartwatch, like the Apple Watch Series 9. It’s pretty fantastic, after all; slap it on your wrist, and you not only get your notifications and apps, but you get 24/7 health and fitness tracking.

Read more
Does the Google Pixel Watch work with an iPhone?
A person wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2.

Google threw its hat into the smartwatch ring last year when it introduced the Google Pixel Watch, and now it's back for a much-needed encore with the Pixel Watch 2 — an updated version that proves how good an idea it is to wait for the second generation of a new tech product.

The Pixel Watch 2 improves upon its predecessor in nearly every way, with better battery life, a more comfortable design, and far smoother performance. It's enough for Google to make a mark among Wear OS smartwatches and give Samsung’s Galaxy Watch lineup a run for its money in a way that other challengers like the Moto 360 and Oppo Watch never could.

Read more