Apple’s “Tap to Pay” service is picking up speed. Since Tuesday, retailers in the Netherlands have been able to use an iPhone as an NFC card terminal and thus accept contactless payments on site without requiring any additional specialized hardware. To pay, the customer only has to bring their NFC-enabled card or a smartphone with Apple Pay or Google Pay directly to the iPhone.
Third-party providers process payments
With the Netherlands, the Apple service now covers the first country in the European Union, so other regions in continental Europe are likely to follow soon. A start date for Germany is not yet available. Tap to Pay was launched in the US last year and is also only available in the UK, Australia and Taiwan.
Apple has opened up the acceptance of payments via the NFC interface to third parties: the payment process is not processed via Apple, but via industry services that support it. In the Netherlands, the payment service providers Sumup and Adyen, which are also active in Germany, are initially offering this, with others such as Stripe to follow. Apple itself is using the service in the first in-house stores and is likely to bring it to its Dutch branches in the future.
When paying, only Apple Pay is allowed to access NFC
So far, only Apple’s own Apple Pay service can use the NFC interface on the payment side; other NFC wallets are not permitted in iOS. The EU Commission sees this as a violation of competition law and could also use the Digital Markets Act to try to force Apple to open up. End users can only use “Tap to Pay” when shopping and of course only if the respective retailer offers it. A direct transfer of smaller or larger sums of money between two private iPhones is not possible.
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