Visa brings Tap to Phone contactless payment service to US

Visa Tap to Phone POS
(Image credit: Visa)

Visa has announced the expansion of its Tap To Phone mobile point of sale (POS) system launch to the US as it looks to help SMBs bounce back from the effects of the pandemic.

The payments giant is launching the service in the US initially through a six-city tour that will highlight the positive impact such POS technologies can have on black and women-owned businesses.

Visa initially launched Tap to Phone in more than 30 countries last October following a huge surge in demand for such contactless payment services in the face of the global pandemic, with small and micro businesses eager to turn to technology in order to stay afloat. 

Tap to Phone US

“It's about enabling the enablers....and giving them a head start,” Mary Kay Bowman, Visa’s head of global buyer and seller solutions told TechRadar Pro.

“We know SMBS are among the most resilient and scrappy businesses out there - what we're trying to do is make sure they have access to the technology and services they need in order to thrive.”

The company will be partnering with the minority-owned smartphone firm ZmBIZI for the rollout, enabling 50 SMBs across Washington D.C to get a taste of the new system.

ZmBIZI will provide the SMBs with its Android-powered Z1 device (although Bowman says that Visa could possibly expand this to iOS devices in the future) that will come equipped with an app that should allow businesses to start using the service, and accepting payments, right away.

The devices will act as a mobile POS terminal, with no additional hardware needed, and EMV contactless security protection included as standard.

Visa Tap to Phone POS

(Image credit: Visa)

Bowman notes that the launch could be crucial for SMBs that are considering how to approach the post-pandemic world, especially with cash payments rapidly declining in markets across the world.

She notes that asides from being simple to procure and easy to set up, Tap To Phone

can help businesses quickly improve cashflow and most importantly keep their customers happy.

“A lost sale can be a lost customer,” Bowman says, noting that saying no to a customer due to a lack of proper hardware could be crucial in today’s markets.

Following its initial launch across six US cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami as well as Washington D.C), Visa hopes to expand Tap to Phone nationwide, with updates expected in the coming months.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.