Visa’s Tap to Phone service wants to transform payment processing for small businesses

Visa Tap to Phone
(Image credit: Visa)

Visa is rolling out its popular Tap to Phone service to more regions around the globe following a surge in use. The service lets businesses accept contactless payments on any NFC-enabled Android device, without the need for any additional hardware. Sellers who want to use their Android phones or tablets as contactless or tap to pay payment processors can therefore bypass more commonly used point of sale terminals.

Following a pilot of the system, which has seen its use grow by 200% in several European countries, Tap to Phone will be made available in 15 other markets around the world. Visa plans to take the idea to the US and is also lining up 35 new partners to help expand the service, which is proving an affordable and convenient option for many SMBs.

The low-cost solution could be a lifeline for small and micro businesses, especially during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Visa says it has seen tap to pay payments grow 40% year-on-year. Indeed, when surveyed many consumers have stated that they would not shop at outlets requiring them to have contact with a cashier or a card reader where contactless payment isn't available. 

Visa Tap to Phone

“It was just five years ago when Visa set out to enable virtually any IoT or mobile device to make payments and now today, we are enabling many of those same devices to accept payments in a very simple way with Visa Tap to Phone,” said Mary Kay Bowman, global head of buyer and seller solutions, Visa.

“With billions of phones around the world at the ready, the opportunity that comes with lighting them up as payment acceptance devices is enormous. Visa Tap to Phone could be one of the most profound ways to reinvent the physical shopping experience.”

Demand certainly seems to be there. Another recent Visa survey revealed that 63% of small and micro businesses questioned said that they would consider implementing Tap to Phone. Meanwhile, more than 50% of consumers said they would use it if Tap to Phone was offered as a means to pay for goods or services.

Tap to Phone is already available in many parts of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Recent additions to the service include Belarus, Malaysia, Peru, Russia and South Africa. Visa reports that upcoming launches are planned for Brazil, Italy, United Arab Emirates and the UK.

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.