09 Feb Apple’s New Feature to Let Merchants Accept Payments in Crypto
The upcoming ‘Tap to Pay’ feature on Apple’s iPhone will offer contactless payment functions to millions of US merchants, both big and small, to accept all types of payments. These include Apple Pay, contactless debit, and credit cards, and digital wallets.
Apple’s Tap to Pay
According to the official press release, the feature does not require any additional hardware or payment terminal. The announcement revealed that Tap to Pay on iPhone will work with contactless credit and debit cards from prominent payment networks, such as American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa.
This essentially means that customers would be able to use their cryptocurrency holdings to make payments via Tap to Pay. While customers will not be able to complete a direct transaction for Bitcoin and other digital assets, they will be able to spend their holdings via Coinbase Card, Crypto.com Visa Card, etc.
Jennifer Bailey, the company’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, underscored the growing phenomenon of consumers tapping to pay with digital wallets and credit cards. Bailey asserted that iPhone’s soon-to-be-launched feature will provide businesses with a “secure, private, and easy way” to accept contactless payments and explore new checkout experiences. She went on to add,
“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.”
Apple further announced that the privately-held financial services company, Stripe, will be the first payment platform to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone to its business users and will onboard additional payment platforms and apps later this year.
A Threat to Jack Dorsey’s Block?
Merchants accepting card-based payments have become increasingly popular owing to platforms such as fintech giant Block (formerly Square). Since the initial Bloomberg report on the product, many experts had weighed in on its implications on Block.
Barclays analyst Ramsey El-Assal, for one, does not expect Apple’s inclusion of Tap to Pay to have a “material impact on current competitive dynamics.” In fact, the analyst earlier commented that the feature will be “additive rather than competitive.”
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