Apple will allow the iPhone to be used as a payment terminal

Apple is working on a new service that would allow small businesses to accept plastic card payments directly from the iPhone without the use of additional terminals. It was reported by Bloomberg, citing "people familiar with the issue.

The company has reportedly been working on the new feature since 2020 - when it acquired Canadian startup Mobeewave for $100 million, which developed a technology that allows smartphones with NFC-modules to accept bank card payments. NFC is already used in iPhones for payments in the Apple Pay system.

To accept payments on iPhones, merchants in some countries can already use special terminals linked to the smartphone via Bluetooth, a market dominated by Square technology developed by Block Inc. The new feature will turn the iPhone itself into a payment terminal, allowing small businesses like caterers and hairdressers to accept funds from bank cards or compatible smartphones.

It is unknown whether the feature will be included in the Apple Pay ecosystem, and how this option will be (if it is) implemented in the rather regulated sphere of electronic payments in Russia. It is expected that Apple may start releasing thematic software updates in the coming months. The company expected to unveil the first beta version of iOS 15.4 in the near future, with a mass user release presumably coming in the spring. Apple itself declined to comment.

Apple has long attempted to enter the payments market: it launched the Apple Card in the U.S. in 2019, launched a virtual Apple Cash service for digital transactions, and is considering a service within Apple Pay that allows you to pay for purchases in installments.

The iPhone won't be the first smartphone to use Mobeewave technology to accept payments. Samsung, which supported the startup before it was sold to Apple, used bank card payments on some of its devices back in 2019.

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