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Apple’s Tap to Pay – 1 more huge step forward to the empty pocket life

I like things being kept simple – and this is another tick in that box

Apple Tap to Pay

Told you so

Apple’s Tap to Pay finally comes to life today and I bet it catches on pretty quickly too.

This week, I have written a lot about iOS, its shortcomings and strengths. I’ve finally been able to compare and contrast iOS and Android courtesy of the Pixel 7 Pro. Both OS have their USPs and features that make them unique but Apple has one clear advantage and that is with their Wallet app.

It’s not one of those apps that gets much attention – it’s a bit of an unsung hero but if you ask me it’s a game changer.

Over 99 per cent of U.K. retailers now accept Apple Pay. It’s odd but I can barely remember a time that Apple Pay wasn’t a ‘thing’ – it’s become such an ingrained part of our society. If a retailer doesn’t accept Apple Pay then I’m not playing ball with them, it’s as simple as that!

And as I mentioned yesterday, Apple Pay and Apple Wallet heralded the start of what I like to term the empty pocket life.

Because of it, I haven’t taken my physical credit cards out with me for, well, longer than I can remember. And that can only be a good thing – removing the chance of your cards being stolen or cloned.

Beyond storing your payment cards though Apple Wallet can now store hotel keys, front door keys, car keys and soon even ID and your driver’s licence.

Building blocks

On the back of the success of Apple Pay and the Wallet app, last year Apple went one step further when they announced that Tap to Pay would soon be coming to iPhone.

Well, today that has become a reality and it’s set to be a huge thing for U.K. businesses and retailers.

As of today retailers and businesses can simply use their iPhones (with a partner-enabled iOS app) to accept payments with no need for slow, old-fashioned unreliable Bluetooth payment terminals.

Apple first mentioned the feature last February and here we are less than one year on at the start of another new era. Businesses can now accept in-person payments securely and quickly via either Apple Wallet, contactless credit & debit cards or Android wallet apps.

Getting on board

Tap to Pay all starts with iOS and app developers.

To use the feature businesses will need an app on their iPhone that has Tap to Pay integrated into it which will then offer it as a payment acceptance option to their customers.

The first platforms that are ready to use in the UK are Revolut and Tyl by NatWest with others from Adyen, Dojo, myPOS, Stripe, SumUp, Viva Wallet, Worldline, and Zettle by PayPal soon to follow.

As you’d expect Tap to Pay will be coming to Apple Stores over the next couple of weeks.

In their press release Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet said;

“We’ve seen Tap to Pay on iPhone transform the checkout experience for so many different types of businesses, and we’re thrilled to now support merchants across the U.K. by offering an easy, secure, and private way to accept contactless payments using the power, security, and convenience of iPhone, with no additional hardware needed. Small and medium-sized businesses have long played a vital role in the U.K. economy, and alongside payment platforms, app developers, and payment networks, we’re making it easier than ever for U.K. businesses to seamlessly accept contactless payments and continue to grow their business.”

Who’s it for?

As long as you have an iPhone X or later running the most up-to-date iOS and a Tap to Pay-supported app then you are ready to unlock a new world of iPhone-based contactless payments.

It should be super simple to use as well. At checkout, you’ll just be asked to offer up your Apple Watch, iPhone, digital wallet or card to the vendor’s iPhone and that’s it – it’ll be as simple as using Apple Pay.

The transaction will be securely completed using NFC technology.2. With no other hardware involved it’ll mean that U.K. businesses will be able to accept payments anywhere which means that now virtually every business, big or small, can use Tap to Pay on iPhone to take payments. Cashflow is king don’t forget!

Mum’s the word

As you’d expect from Apple, privacy has been central to the development of Tap to Pay.

Your payment data will be protected with Apple Pay’s technology. All transactions made using Tap to Pay on iPhone are encrypted and processed using the Secure Element, and similar to Apple Pay, Apple has no idea what is being purchased or who is buying it.

Apple is keen to get as many leading payment platforms and app developers to get on board with Tap to Pay on iPhone as quickly as possible. It will of course be ready to use with all the major contactless credit and debit cards including American Express, Mastercard, and Visa.

It looks as if the rollout will be fairly rapid too with Revolut saying;

“We are excited to be among the first to bring Tap to Pay on iPhone to businesses of all sizes in the U.K. Our goal is to give our customers products and services that allow them to accept payments securely and conveniently. With Tap to Pay on iPhone, we expect to see all kinds of businesses — from freelancers and sole traders to retail shops and barbershops, food stands, and more — quickly start accepting contactless payments with only an iPhone.”

Wrapping up

I said earlier on that anything that makes my day quicker, simpler and safer gets two thumbs up from me and Tap to Pay fits squarely into that category.

I know it may not make the headlines, but it will be one of those quality-of-life benefits that’ll be hard to quantify and can only benefit U.K. business owners to help grow their businesses.

Because of Apple Pay, we have come to expect the widespread acceptance of secure contactless payments – Tap to Pay will bring that ease and flexibility of payments to businesses of all sizes.

It removes another barrier to entry for new-start businesses and will encourage entrepreneurs to get started. Now their focus can be on their vision and passion and worry less about ways to get paid. It will also save money too as there will be no need to layout on third-party terminals.

And while all of this is true and I believe it can only hugely benefit businesses, particularly the smaller ones, there is one other very clever little backroom twist to all this…

If you are a business owner using your iPhone to both make payments and accept them, why on earth would you ever dream of moving from iPhone to Android?

As I said yesterday – that ecosystem is a real thing. As groundbreaking as Tap to Pay will prove to be it’s another brick in that walled garden.

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