Apple is reportedly planning to implement a feature in iOS allowing an iPhone to accept contactless payments. The solution does not require any hardware update: it uses the NFC sensor already used for Apple Pay. This function comes from the acquisition in 2020 by Apple of a start-up called Mobeewave. This had received financial support from Samsung, which has already been using this solution for 3 years.
When Apple Pay was launched in 2014, all economic analysts gave very positive opinions. Why ? Because the firm was committed to the financial transaction market, which will never experience a shortage. Indeed, it’s not like you’re going to stop eating, dressing or moving overnight! And on every transaction made through Apple Pay, the Cupertino company receives a commission, like Visa or Mastercard.
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And that was just the beginning: Apple would then strengthen its presence in the financial services and payments market. A good example is Apple Card, a payment card with a cashback system launched in 2019. First virtual, the card has become physical, allowing goods to be paid for on standard terminals, even those that are incompatible with Apple Pay.
All iPhones will soon accept contactless payments
In 2020, the firm buys a Canadian start-up called Mobeewave for $10 million. His specialty: creating a software system that transforms an NFC-compatible smartphone into a contactless payment terminal. The system has already been used by Samsung since 2019. So far, it has never been adapted to the iPhone. But it should finally happen, according to information from Mark Gurman, journalist at Bloomberg. The latter claims that Apple has implement the function this year.
Merchants and craftsmen will therefore be able to transform their iPhone into a payment terminal, without the need for compatible hardware. Indeed, the beauty of the system is that it only requires a standard NFC chip. The rest is managed by software. This means that this function will be compatible, as soon as it arrives, with all iPhones compatible with the latest version of iOS. Backward compatibility will therefore be ensured up to iPhone 6s, all iPhones being NFC compatible since 2014 (with the iPhone 6). Of course, it remains to be seen how much it will cost, since the service will not be free.
Mark Gurman explains that the function should be subject to a test period which will start with the publication of the beta ofiOS 15.4. If all goes well, it should be included in the public release of iOS 15.4 which will roll out sometime in the spring, possibly alongside the retail launch of the iPhone SE 3.