Small businesses will soon be able to accept payments from Apple’s Tap to Pay app thanks to a new collaboration with Square.
The digital payment platform is teaming up with Apple (opens in new tab) to roll out new support for Tap to Pay on iPhones. The feature will go onto Square’s Point of Sale app to allow “in-person contactless payments”, meaning business owners won’t have to rely on Square’s add-on devices to accept payments.
You may be more familiar with Square if you’ve ever gone to a small business and seen that the store owner’s iPhone or iPad is connected to a dongle. Those dongles are often Square’s own card reader (opens in new tab) which have proven to be some of the most popular POS systems around.
Tap to Pay expansion
Apple launched its Tap to Pay app in February 2022 as a way for more businesses to accept Apple Pay and other types of contactless payments. Some were concerned this spelled doom for Square and other similar companies that rely on hardware, but that wasn’t the case.
Apple stated that it would work with payment platforms so everyone could use its new app. Stripe was the first platform to get that support, then Shopify. Now, Square is joining the mix, integrating Apple's contactless payment support with its transaction system
The new Tap to Pay support doesn’t have an official launch date other than it will roll out later this year. We asked Block Inc. if there are any hardware limitations for the service and a representative was able to confirm that you will need an iPhone XS or later device to use the app.
Square is starting with an Early Access Program for merchants that wanted to try out the new Tap to Pay support. All you have to do is enter your contact information and the kind of business you run.
Analysis: Moving past hardware
Apple adding software support for payments poses an interesting question on the future state of transaction hardware. This isn’t to say that Square and other similar payment platforms are going to go bankrupt or those card readers will be going away anytime soon.
Square’s card readers are still widely used and probably will be for a while. But the long-term future is less certain. A recent study from Juniper Research found contactless payments via app will reach $49 billion transactions next year.
An ever-increasing reliance on software to manage transactions could change how people do business. Cash registers may go extinct at some point.