Apple Inc is planning a new service that will allow small businesses to accept payments directly on their iPhones without any extra hardware, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
For payments to get accepted on an iPhone, retailers currently use payment terminals to receive money on their iOS devices that are connected via Bluetooth, such as Block Inc’s Square payment systems.
The new feature will instead turn the iPhone into a payment terminal, allowing merchants to accept payments with the tap of a credit card or another iPhone onto the back of their device, the Bloomberg report said.
The system will likely use iPhone’s near field communications, or NFC, chip that is currently used for Apple Pay, the report said, adding the feature may roll out through a software update in the coming months.
The company has been working on the new feature since around 2020, the report said, when it paid about $100 million for Mobeewave, a Canadian startup, that developed technology for smartphones to accept payments with the tap of a credit card.
Apple declined to comment on the report when contacted by Reuters.
According to the report, it is unclear whether the payment acceptance option will be branded as part of Apple Pay or if the company plans to partner with an existing payment network for the feature or launch it alone.