Apple has revealed plans to release Tap to Pay for iPhone, a new feature that effectively transforms the smartphone into a point of sale system for companies and retailers. So, what’s in it for cryptocurrency?
According to the release, with Tap to Pay, iPhone-owning shops may accept contactless payments by using their mobile devices as a POS machine owing to NFC technology.
Apple’s soon-to-be-released Tap to Pay feature will support “Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets,” according to the company. Customers that use Coinbase Card, Crypto.com Visa Card, or a similar payment card will be able to use their bitcoin holdings to make payments using Tap to Pay, unless Apple places a clear obstacle in the way.
While Apple introduced Stripe, an Irish-American fintech, as the first platform to offer the iPhone’s Tap to Pay feature, the firm noted that “other payment platforms and apps will come later this year.”
Coinbase, a large cryptocurrency exchange, merged with Apple Pay and Google Pay in August 2021, allowing customers to acquire crypto assets on its platform. According to Cointelegraph, the move enabled users in the United States to purchase cryptocurrency using bank-issued debit and credit cards via Apple Pay, a mainstream payments network.
Coinbase released Coinbase Card in June 2021, allowing customers to spend bitcoins over mainstream channels:
“Coinbase will automatically convert all cryptocurrency to US Dollars and transfer the funds to your Coinbase Card (less conversion fees) for use in purchases and ATM withdrawals.”
Following suit, cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com introduced a similar product called the Crypto.com Visa Card, which can be attached to Apple Pay and other major digital wallets. According to Apple’s announcement, Tap to Pay on the iPhone will accept contactless credit and debit cards from major payment networks as as American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa.
Given Coinbase’s capacity to convert a user’s crypto holdings to fiat in real-time for payments, Apple Pay users will be able to use their iPhone’s Tap to Pay function to make bitcoin payments at mainstream retailers and businesses.
While Apple Pay will most likely not allow direct purchases of goods and services using Bitcoin (BTC), it will convert the user’s crypto holdings to match the dollar amount demanded by the merchant’s POS system in order to complete the transaction.