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What is Apple Tap to Pay?

Apple Tap to Pay recently arrived in the UK, but what is Tap to Pay and how does it work? 

Scroll down to learn everything you need to know about Apple’s latest contactless payment feature, including how safe it is, which apps support it and what this launch means for small businesses in the UK.

What is Apple Tap to Pay? 

Apple Tap to Pay is a contactless payment feature first announced in February 2023. In July 2023, Apple confirmed that the service would begin rolling out in the UK. 

Tap to Pay allows small and medium-sized businesses to accept contactless payments on their iPhones without the need for any third-party hardware, such as a card reader. 

The update will be especially useful for merchants that don’t already have a payment terminal to accept contactless payments, such as retail shops, food stands and freelancers. 

All merchants need is their iPhone (iPhone XS or later), the latest version of iOS and a partner-enabled app to accept payments from contactless credit and debit cards, Apple Pay and other supported digital wallets. Customers can then simply hold their iPhone or Apple Watch next to the seller’s iPhone to send their payment via wireless NFC technology. 

Partner-enabled apps that will be accepting payments at launch include Revolut and Tyl by NatWest. Other services, including Adyen, Dojo, myPOS, Stripe, SumUp, Viva Wallet, Worldline, and Zettle by PayPal, are set to follow shortly thereafter. 

For those concerned about privacy, Apple has stated that all Tap to Pay transactions are encrypted and that, as with Apple Pay, Apple itself cannot see what is being bought or who is buying it. 

“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”, said VP of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, Jennifer Bailey. 

“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”.

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