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Square beware? Apple reportedly working on iPhone-powered point-of-sale system for SMEs

Could Apple challenge Zettle and Square’s dominance on the high street?

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Youssef Sarhan/Unsplash.

Tech giant Apple is said to be preparing a new service for small businesses to accept payments straight from an iPhone, without needing any extra hardware.

The news, which was reported by Bloomberg, would be a shot across the bow of Zettle, SumUp, Square and a plethora of other providers who offer high street payments for retailers.

Typically these firms rely on a separate piece of hardware connected to a smartphone or tablet in order to receive NFC payments, but being the maker of the iPhone means Apple could enable the receiving of NFC payments with a simple software update.

Bloomberg’s report says the feature will turn the iPhone itself into a payment terminal, letting retailers accept payments either by contactless card or mobile payments like Apple Pay.

In 2020 Apple acquired Mobeewave, a Canadian startup working on software that could allow smartphones to receive payments, for $100m.

Much was made about the acquisition at the time, yet in the two years since, Apple’s payment ambitions have been relatively quiet.

Bloomberg says its sources suggest the feature could arrive “in the coming months” with a beta as early as Spring.

‘Big tech’ has been an ongoing concern for the fintech and broader finance sector for the past few years, however, the threat has yet to really materialise.

Apple launched Apple Pay in 2014 which helped drive the adoption of mobile and contactless payments, Apple’s Goldman Sachs-powered credit card is still only available in the US, and there have been rumblings that the company is also working on a “buy now, pay later” offering.

But will Apple’s point-of-sale payments system really come to rival Square and SumUp? We’ll have to wait and see.

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