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Apple Tap to Pay: Everything you need to know

Apple Apple Pay Payment
Apple Apple Pay Payment (Image credit: Dustin Aksland)

Cupertino is making it even more convenient to use Apple Pay with merchants. Side-by-side iPhones can accept payments through Apple Pay, contactless debit and credit cards, and other digital wallets with Tap to Pay. Here's more about Tap to Pay and when it might go live.

What is Tap to Pay?

Officially revealed with the second iOS 15.4 developer beta, Tap to Pay turns supported iPhones into payment terminals with no additional hardware required. Previously, to accept payments, vendors needed third-party dongles like Square to initiate contactless payments through iPhones.

At least for now, Tap to Pay isn't intended for person-to-person payments. Instead, businesses and merchants will accept contactless payments using supported iPhone apps. Consumers will put their iPhone or Apple Watch near the iPhone to complete payments. Each transaction is secure using NFC technology.

What's needed for Tap to Pay

Tap to Pay will support the iPhone XS and later models. Stripe is the first payment platform to support Tap to Pay on iPhone, making it available through the Shopify Point of Sale app. Additional payment platforms and apps are expected to follow. Although the iPhone 6, iPhone 7, and iPhone 8 series support NFC, they won't work with Tap to Pay. It will work will all of the best iPhones currently on the market.

As Stripe's chief business officer, Billy Alvarado explains (opens in new tab), "Whether you're a salesperson at an internet-first retailer or an individual entrepreneur, you can soon accept contactless payments on a device that's already in your pocket: your iPhone. With Tap to Pay on iPhone, millions of businesses using Stripe can enhance their in-person commerce experience by offering their customers a fast and secure checkout."

When will Tap to Pay debut?

We should start to see Tap to Pay availability this spring when iOS 15.4 is released to the public. However, it's expected to only be available in the United States at launch.

More to come

We'll update this post as we learn more about Tap to Pay. Stay tuned!

Bryan M Wolfe
Bryan M Wolfe

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.