Bloomberg reports the company will build the capability directly into its devices, meaning that merchants will need no additional hardware than a smartphone.
Apple paid around $100 million for Canadian company Mobeewave, which is working on technology to accept payments via smartphones, in 2020 and will likely be able to use pre-existing iPhone hardware, including NFC, which is already used for Apple Pay.
Square, which renamed itself to Block late in 2021, has been offering a similar system for many years, albeit with a dedicated card reader. But these systems rely on external hardware rather than a ubiquitous device like the iPhone, which could help Apple leapfrog rivals in the space.
A potential sticking point could be whether Apple allows other firms such as Square to use the potentially forthcoming technology.
Given the regulatory scrutiny on major tech companies at the moment, it might be safe to assume Apple would be forced to do so, but there is always the possibility that Apple weighs the risks and decides to give itself an edge.
Bloomberg says it is unclear if the payments feature would be branded as part of Apple Pay or a separate service. Apple also has decided on whether to partner with others or go it alone.
Sources indicated that Apple could release the feature via software update in the coming months, with the company recently releasing iOS 15.3, which includes a range of bug fixes and new features, including fixing a potential seriosu Safari security flaw.
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Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.