Verizon and Mastercard want to turn your iPhone into a 5G payment terminal

Apple Pay
Apple Pay (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Verizon and Mastercard have announced a new partnership aimed at making contactless payments easier.
  • The pair want iPhones to be used as portable NFC payment machines for small and medium-sized businesses.

Verizon and Mastercard have announced a new partnership that will apparently focus on making 5G contactless payments easier for small and medium-sized companies. However, the pair don't expect to be able to announce anything that works until 2023.

According to an CNBC report, the two companies want to turn iPhones into portable 5G payment machines, allowing businesses to accept payments without the need for an additional terminal.

"5G will enable the small- and-medium business to handle transactions more quickly and focus on what they are really delivering to customers," Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg told CNBC. "You can use 5G to create more frictionless ways of transacting with your customers and focus on your business. That's of course what we see with touchless stores and coming out from Covid, I think we see much more touchless because it's part of our society today."

Apple already owns a company that is working on this exact feature. Mobeewave was working on tech that would allow iPhones to accept payments via NFC when Apple bought it, and it's likely that is still something that Apple plans to roll out as part of the iPhone's feature set in the future. Just don't expect it to be ready for iPhone 13.

This new Verizon and Mastercard news will presumably make it easier for smaller businesses to receive payments without the need for a terminal from the likes of Square — but again, it's going to take at least 18 months before we see the fruits of this particular partnership.

All current iPhones support NFC so should work with this technology when it's ready. Check out our collection of the best iPhones if you're if you're undecided on which is right for you.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.