Apple and Stripe team up for ‘Tap to pay on iPhone’ feature

Feature allows retailers to turn smartphones into contactless payment terminals

Stripe, the fast-growing company founded by Patrick and John Collison, has teamed up with Apple to allow businesses to turn iPhones into contactless payment terminals

“Tap to Pay on iPhone”, effectively allows retailers to use their smartphones to accept contactless credit and debit cards, as well as digital payments without the need of hardware or payment terminals from the likes of Block (formerly Square) or SumUp.

The new feature relies on near field communication (NFC). Apple has been working on the "Tap to Pay" feature since around 2020, when it paid about $100 million for a Canadian start-up called Mobeewave that developed technology for smartphones to accept payments with the tap of a credit card.

Tap to Pay is to be made available later this year in the US. No date has been announced yet for when it might be rolled out in other markets. Other payment platforms are expected to join Stripe in offering the feature.



"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.

Shares in Block, which is led by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, was trading down 3.2 per cent at one point after the news was announced on Tuesday. As of 6pm Irish time, shares were down 0.2 per cent. Shares in Apple were up 1.9 per cent.

"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 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,” she added.

Additional reporting: Bloomberg

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist