Tap to Pay: your iPhone is now a pin pad

  • This could represent a real leap for many businesses: iPhone introduces Tap to Pay to bring mobile payments to retail as well.

  • It seems that Apple is determined to be a leading brand in the marketing environment. If last week we talked about the implications that the implementation of iOS 14 and above has had on eCommerce, this time we are entering the retail sector thanks to a new feature that is going to give plenty to talk about: Tap to Pay.
    Although we will now go into the subject, we are basically dealing with an alternative to the traditional POS (Point of Sale Terminal), the device that all physical stores have in their stores to collect digital transactions.
  • Charging with iPhone

  • By now, we are more than used to paying using our phones, smartwatches, activity bracelets and other wearable devices. This is a trend that has been growing steadily.
    In this, as in almost everything, COVID-19 pandemic has also had a notable influence. Apple Pay users alone - who, we recall, have a credit card associated with their terminal - increased by 65 million exclusively during 2020.
    But what is interesting is that we are not talking about paying: we are talking about collecting. Tap to Pay is not a solution exclusive to iOS ecosystem. On the contrary: it is an open platform that supports all types of contactless payments, whether they come from Apple Pay, Google Pay or contactless credit and debit cards from major issuers, such as Master Card, Visa, American Express...
    We are also dealing with a phone, so transactions in alternative wallets such as Bizum are also possible.
    Thus, we can see a leap in mobile payments with practically the same features as a regular POS, and we even see that it enhances them.
    Let's not forget that at the enterprise level it is an extraordinary opportunity to have as many "POS" as phones, fully independent, for example in outdoor locations because they do not depend on the WIFI network if not necessary.
  • How Tap to Pay works in iPhone

  • The operation for the merchant could not be simpler. It is really no different from managing a contactless payment with a point-of-sale terminal. We simply ask the customer to bring his or her device or card close to the phone that is going to make the payment.
    But, what is the technology behind, and do we need to add any additional "gadgets" to the phone? 

    The answer to the first is that it uses the NFC chip, which has been present in iPhones for several generations (specifically from the XS model onwards).
    In case you do not know what we mean, these acronyms come from the words Near Field Communication.This type of wireless proximity communication is the same that is present, for example, in public transport access cards or mobile payments themselves.
  • The answer to the second question: no additional hardware is needed to process payments. It is something that will be able to be done natively with the right app and iOS version 15.4.
    What is the right app? For now, the only payment gateway that will start operating will be Stripe, but do not forget that we are facing something that is little more than a pilot system, and the apple company has already announced that as it grows other operators will join.
  • Is it safe?

  • We are facing one of the giants in terms of technology. In fact, it has nothing to envy to any large banking corporation in this aspect. In addition, privacy is one of their differential values and they have an exhaustive control in this aspect.
    Transactions made through Tap to Pay make use of all this technology by encrypting transactions thanks to Secure Element, an element that is already present in Apple Pay. Its function is to anonymize payments, so that Apple will not know at any time what is being purchased or who is doing it.
     If we take as a reference the experience in payment management by those from Cupertino, so far they have demonstrated that they are reliable and robust. There is not much objective reason for distrust.
  • When and where will Tap to Pay service be available?

  • As we mentioned, we are at an early stage. So much so that not even the functionality is not yet incorporated into iOS 15.
    According to Apple's own data, the forecast is that it will start working at the end of the year and only in the U.S. market. When will we see Tap to Pay in Spain? It is too early to say yet, but you know that we will continue to report promptly when thereare updates.
  • Would you replace your physical POS with iPhones in the future or would you prefer to continue with the traditional model? Please, let us know below.

  • Images| Unsplash. 

Miguel Nicolás

Miguel Nicolás O'Shea is a life-long copywriter (more than 15 years working in agencies) and a specialist in Search Marketing (SEO and PPC). From now on, he will contribute with his online marketing experience to Oleoshop, publishing regularly.

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