Monday, Feb 14, 2022, 15:34 iOS: Software

Apple's "Tap To Pay" In Detail – The New Payment Method's Features

Several hours before the release of the second beta for iOS, Apple announced an important, upcoming feature during a press conference. Accordingly, Apple intends to expand its influence as a payment provider – to be more exact, the company is going to make offering payment services easier. The new feature, called "Tap to Pay", is based on the basic principle that most people already have an iPhone in their pocket, particularly in the USA and even more so in the business sector where the iPhone is the market leader. With iOS 15.4, Apple wants to make it possible to turn the common iPhone into an NFC payment terminal. This would make instantly turn the iPhone into a much more affordable alternative to the extremely high rent prices for current POS systems and NFC terminals – and providing small business owners with almost no reason not to switch to iPhone. Recently, new details have come to light concerning how the system is meant to work.

Several Strings Reveal The Feature
The final version of Tap to Pay will require a special app to unlock the feature. However, limited operation is possible with the appropriate third party access to the new interfaces and some tinkering. Some code passages even indicate which notifications the system will send with Tap to Pay:

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  • A notification informing the user that their iPhone is ready to accept payments
  • A notification informing the user to hold the payment card or iPhone next to the merchant's and to wait for a tone
  • A notification informing the user that they have to turn on NFC to accept contactless payments
  • A notification informing the user that the payment process is taking too long and will need to be restarted for the user's own safety and in order to accept the payment
  • A notification indicating the use of a "Reward Pass" (meaning customer cards for bonus programs, etc.)
  • A notification informing the user of the payment amount
  • A notification informing the user of an amount they have been refunded
  • A notification informing users to try to pay again, but this time to hold the card against the device longer
  • A notification instructing users that it is possible to use the iPhone to accept contactless payment from credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, or other payment services




It will likely take a while until the feature is offered in countries other than The United States. As is normally the case, Apple prefers to pilot major new features in a few US states first, before proceeding to offer them nationally throughout the entire US, and then internationally. The companies Stripe and Shopify have already indicated intentions to support the platform in Apple's home market. Third-party payment providers will still be useful for cases where pure NFC payment simply isn't enough – like when payments and orders need to be associated with a specific article and goods system. Apple also has to support their upcoming in-house payment system in their own stores, however, only in The United States.

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