Apple has brought its Tap to Pay initiative to the UK, enabling independent retailers in this country to use their iPhones for direct mobile payments.
The company first announced Apple Tap to Pay in February of last year, which initially enabled small businesses in the US to accept contactless payments without the need for extra hardware. Now that system is available here in the UK too.
It means that your favourite coffee shops and street food stalls will no longer need to splash out on those little white card NFC readers. You can just tap your iPhone to their iPhone, and your Apple Pay payments will go through securely.
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It’s not just Apple Pay either. Apple also mentions that contactless credit and debit cards as well as other digital wallets can be used in this way, via a partner-enabled iOS app.
Here in the UK, Revolut and Tyl by NatWest are the first payment platforms to support Apple’s Tap to Pay system for their business customers. Adyen, Dojo, myPOS, Stripe, SumUp, Viva Wallet, Worldline, and Zettle by PayPal are said to be coming soon.
Unsurprisingly, Apple has said that it will be rolling out Tap to Pay compatibility in its own UK-based Apple Stores over the coming weeks.
UK merchants who want to take advantage of Tap to Pay will need a relatively recent iPhone to take advantage (the iPhone Xs or later), running the latest version of iOS.
As you might expect, all transactions made using Tap to Pay on iPhone are encrypted and processed using Apple’s Secure Element. Even Apple itself won’t know what is being purchased or by whom.