Your iPhone May Be Able to Accept Direct Payments Soon

It's unclear if this would impact third-party terminals like Square

It seems like Apple may be working on a way to use your iPhone to accept direct payments, and it could be available sometime in 2022.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman is reporting that Apple plans to offer a new service that would allow your iPhone to accept payments directly, rather than just make payments. According to Gurman, the concept has been in development since 2020 and will likely utilize the same near field communications (NFC) chip already used for Apple Pay.

Woman paying with smartphone in a restaurant

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As Gurman points out, while iPhones have been able to act as a form of payment for a while via services like Apple Pay, accepting payments requires an external terminal—something like a plug-in Square device or a credit card reader connected via Bluetooth.

This new feature will, once available, allow users to accept payments by having a credit card (or iPhone) tapped to the back of their iPhone.

Woman using smartphone and using bank card at home

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It's uncertain whether or not this new feature will act as part of Apple Pay, thus competing with other third-party payment terminals, or if it will work with existing mobile terminal providers. Apple has so far declined to comment on the possible feature in any way.

Without any confirmation from Apple, there's no way to know for sure when (or if) this feature will become available. However, Gurman's sources believe it may roll out in a software update "in the coming months," possibly alongside iOS 15.4, but that's also mere speculation.

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