Bloomberg: iPhones get feature to accept card payments

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Apple may want to provide iPhones with a function to accept card payments with their smartphone. That reports financial news agency Bloomberg based on its own sources. The feature should be available in the coming months.

The feature should give iPhones the option to accept payments from credit cards, debit cards and payment services such as Apple Pay, sources told Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. This would allow the smartphones to function as a kind of card reader, without the need for additional hardware. Presumably the function works via NFC; iPhones have had the necessary chip since 2014.

To implement the feature, Apple is using Mobeewave’s technology, according to Bloomberg. That’s a Canadian start-up working on smartphone features to accept credit card payments instantly. Apple acquired that company in 2020 for $100 million. Bloomberg wrote at the time that Apple might be planning to support card payments on iPhones. Samsung previously collaborated with the company and then did a test in Canada.

It is not known whether the feature will be available worldwide immediately upon release; the feature may initially only appear in the United States. For example, Apple Cash, a feature of Apple that allows iPhone users to transfer money between themselves via iMessage, is not yet available in the EU at this time.

Bloomberg reports that Apple plans to release the feature “in the coming months” via a software update. The feature may be incorporated in iOS 15.4, of which the first beta version is expected soon and which may be released in the spring. That would put the release close to an alleged Apple event in the spring, which includes a new iPhone SE and iPad Air with 5G and a new Mac computer, Bloomberg writes.

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