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Apple planning for a financial domination, turning iPhones into payment terminals

Bloomberg reported that Apple is planning to introduce a new feature in the coming months that will let merchants accept card payments directly through their iPhones. In short, it wants to make its device a payment terminal or a point of sale (POS) machine.

The report noted that this feature will be part of a software update in the coming months. So if you’re a merchant, you won’t have to go through a lot of steps to set it up.

In 2020, Apple acquired Canada-based payments startup Mobeeweave, which enabled mobile phones to act as payment terminals. Before this acquisition, the startup worked with Samsung to turn the Korean tech giant’s NFC-enabled phones into POS machines. Apple’s upcoming feature is expected to work in the same way.

However, there are a lot of unknowns about the product at this moment: will it be under the Apple Pay umbrella? Will Apple use the existing payment processing network or create its own?

Kevin Susman, VP Brand & Communications at MATRIXX Software, a company that works with carriers for monetization, said this new feature can help Apple get into a wider peer-to-peer payment space, where companies like Venmo operate. He also said Apple Cash’s adoption spread is questionable:

Of course, much of this is a result of the fact that it is not cross-platform you can’t send Apple Cash to an Android user. But, as relates to payments, you can pay with ApplePay (and Apple Cash), but you (merchants) can’t charge with it. Making it possible to do so means that you can support SMB’s for sure, but you can also support peer-peer charging, similar to Venmo’s.

Notably, Apple already lets you send money to your friends registered on the Apple Pay network without any charges. But iPhones-as-payment-terminals could be a whole different ball game.

Jephtah Chidozie Uche, a co-founder and CTO of Kippa, a bookkeeping startup based out Niegra, said Apple should provide APIs for developers so that service-provider apps can easily integrate this new feature. He mentioned that as iPhones are costly in many parts of the world, the company should also focus on having backward compatibility for cheaper and older devices.

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