Apple has announced the new Tap to Pay feature – a service based on the NFC technology, which turns the iPhone into a payment terminal.
The official Apple blog has issued a press release about Tap to Pay, which will allow owners of the iPhone XS and higher models to accept contactless payments via Apple Pay, bank cards and digital wallets. The service will only be available in the United States.
Fintech company Stripe is a technical partner of the project. The technology will be fully confidential, all transactions will be encrypted using the Secure Element algorithm. There is no planned launch date yet, but more details and tools for developers are promised in 2022.
This news sparked a wave of rumors that payments can be accepted in cryptocurrencies as well, although indirectly. In particular, users of Coinbase Card and Crypto.com Visa Card will be able to do so. These cards allow converting the user’s crypto assets into fiat in real-time to make payments.
However, this remains just a rumor, as Apple could create a direct barrier to this. Specifically, speaking at the November 9, 2021 New York Times DealBook Online Summit, Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized that Apple has no plans to accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment anytime soon. There is no mention of cryptocurrencies or digital assets in the press release that deals with Tap to Pay either.