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Apple has announced a new capability is coming soon to iPhone, and it’s good news for small businesses especially.

Tap To Pay will allow users to accept contactless payments directly on their iPhone, without the need for any point of sale hardware or a physical card reader.

They’ll be able to accept payments from contactless credit/debit cards including American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa – and even take payments iPhone-to-iPhone if the buyer uses Apple Pay.

Developers will be able to integrate Tap To Pay into their apps, while we expect there to be plenty of payment platforms on board before long to help entrepreneurs and indie businesses collect payments quickly and easily. Stripe is the first major platform to be unveiled, with the Shopify app on board to handle the payments.

VP of Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey: “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.”

In line with Apple’s privacy-first approach to software, Tap To Pay protects payment data in the same way it already protects Apple Pay. “All transactions made using Tap to Pay on iPhone are encrypted and processed using the Secure Element, and as with Apple Pay, Apple doesn’t know what is being purchased or who is buying it.”

Though no specific date has been mentioned, Apple says the feature will be available in “an upcoming iOS software beta”. With the iOS 15.4 beta already boasting some flagship new features, we’d expect Tap To Pay to come later this year. Perhaps in the iOS 15.5 beta or perhaps even in the iOS 16 beta after WWDC in June, which would mean full public availability this September. We’ll keep you posted!

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