Apple announced plans to launch Tap to Pay for its iPhone, a new feature that effectively turns the smartphone into a point-of-sale device for businesses and merchants. So, what’s in it for crypto?
The announcement explains that with Tap to Pay, iPhone-owning merchants receive contactless payments by using their mobile devices as a point-of-sale machine thanks to the near-field communication technology, or NFC.
According to Apple, the soon-to-be-launched Tap to Pay feature will extend support to “Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards and other digital wallets.” It basically means that unless Apple places a direct barrier for it, customers who are using Coinbase Card, Crypto.com Visa Card or a similar payments card would be able to use their cryptocurrency holdings to make payments via Tap to Pay.
While Apple has announced Stripe, an Irish-American fintech, as the first platform to offer the Tap to Pay feature on the iPhone, the company clarified that “additional payment platforms and apps will follow later this year.”
Back in August 2021, major crypto exchange Coinbase integrated with Apple Pay and Google Pay, allowing users to purchase crypto assets on its platform. As Cointelegraph reported, the move allowed United States-based customers to purchase crypto using bank-issued debit and credit cards via mainstream payments platform Apple Pay.
In June 2021, Coinbase launched Coinbase Card, enabling users to spend cryptocurrencies across mainstream avenues:
“Coinbase will automatically convert all cryptocurrency to US Dollars and transfer the funds to your Coinbase Card (less conversion fees) for use in purchases and ATM withdrawals.”
Following suit, crypto exchange Crypto.com launched a similar offering named Crypto.com Visa Card, which can be added to Apple Pay and other major digital wallets. Apple said in the announcement:
“Tap to Pay on iPhone will work with contactless credit and debit cards from leading payment networks, including American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa.”
Considering Coinbase’s capability to convert a user’s crypto holdings to fiat in real-time for payments, Apple Pay users will be able to use iPhone’s Tap to Pay feature to make crypto payments across mainstream merchants and businesses.
While Apple Pay will most likely not allow direct purchase of goods and services via Bitcoin (BTC), it will convert the user’s crypto holdings to match the dollar amount requested by the merchant’s point-of-sale machine to make the purchase.
Let’s also not forget that in November 2021, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the personal purchase of cryptocurrencies as “part of a diversified portfolio” while highlighting no immediate plans to accept crypto as a means of payment for Apple products.
Apple intends to roll out the Tap to Pay feature on Apple Stores, iPhone XS and later devices.
Cash App, a mobile payments service developed and owned by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s Block, announced compatibility with the Bitcoin Lightning Network for BTC transfers.
With the launch of the new feature, Cash App users can make faster BTC transactions across mainstream businesses. As Cointelegraph reported, the company has made the feature available everywhere in the United States apart from New York.